Danish breeding company introduces weekly PCR tests for increased biosecurity

By Danish Genetics - Friday, 4 October 2019

The risk of a disease outbreak will always be present in the pig industry. Nevertheless, a responsibility rests on the shoulders of the industry to do everything they can to reduce the risk of infection. That is why they at Danish Pig Genetics has already introduced weekly PCR tests on their AI herds in Denmark.

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The risk of disease and infection is a basic condition in the pig industry, which all of the actors in the industry has to live with. Nevertheless, shock waves are sent through the industry when incidents as the PRRS outbreak at Hatting Horsens happens. This shows exactly how vulnerable the industry is.

The vulnerability of the industry sets high demands for the actors to minimize the risk of infection if another outbreak should happen. At the breeding company Danish Pig Genetics, they take the health issue very seriously and that is why they as the first in the industry in Denmark has introduced weekly PCR tests on the company’s AI stations in Denmark.

“The pig industry is so closely related that it has great consequences if a disease outbreak happens. As a breeding company we are very aware of our responsibility when it comes to our contribution to heightening the biosecurity. That is why we take the lead by introducing weekly PCR tests on our AI herds, so that we can minimize the risk of PRRS even further,” Lars Dall, CEO of Danish Pig Genetics, explains.

Weekly PCR tests minimize the risk of infection significantly

A PCR test separates itself from other test types as it does not test for antibodies but tests for the virus itself. This means that a potential infection will be caught already a few days post infection. Normally, it is necessary to wait for the formation of antibodies which can take up to 10-14 days.

At Danish Pig Genetics the PCR test is combined with the normal ELISA blood test.

“We perform a comprehensive biosecurity program to increase the safety of our customers. We do not compromise with health and that is why we at Danish Pig Genetics do weekly PCR tests on our AI boars as the first Danish breeding company. Thereby, we combine normal blood tests with a comprehensive PCR test program to secure our customers a higher biosecurity,” Lars Dall continues.

One of many initiatives

It is not the first time that Danish Pig Genetics take a new road to heighten the health level. When Danish Pig Genetics and Ornestation Mors earlier this year announced a national AI setup, they installed UVC filters on all the AI stations in Denmark. At that time the initiative was the first of its kind in Denmark and at Ornestation Mors they were welcoming the it.

“We are extremely happy about the cooperation with Danish Pig Genetics. We are noticing an increasing demand from customers who are emphasizing that Danish Pig Genetics has a PRRS negative breeding program and in general are thinking in innovative ways when it comes to infection protection,” Johnny Markussen, CEO of Ornestation Mors, explains.