October 8, 2018

Cookstown farmers invited to learn about PRRS control in Denmark

CAFRE is offering pig producers, in the Cookstown area, the opportunity to travel to Denmark to learn about disease control .

Under the new Farm Innovation Visits scheme, a DAERA scheme managed by CAFRE, pig producers from Cookstown will see the practical aspects of a control initiative to address Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) disease in Denmark. Up to 15 places are available for the trip in November and these places will be awarded on a competitive basis.

PRRS, also known as Blue Ear disease, affects both the breeding and feeding herds and can have a devastating effect on commercial pig farms, resulting in reduced performance and profit .  A combination of good management and strategic vaccination can greatly reduce the impact of PRRS.  However in pig-dense areas a co-ordinated approach is required.  Producers must work together, along with their vets, to maximise control and reduce the impact of this disease.

There are a large number of pig units around the Cookstown area and the pig industry locally is developing a strategy to control PRRS. During the visit to Denmark, producers will have the opportunity to engage with the veterinary experts who led the initiative, as well as meet pig farmers who are in the Danish Scheme.  The group will leave from Cookstown on Sunday 25 November and will return on Tuesday 27 November and will be led by CAFRE advisers Liz Donnelly and Mark Hawe.

The Farm Innovation Visit scheme, which is part of the NI Rural Development Programme and part funded by the EU, will cover the costs associated with scheme organisation, accommodation, travel outside of Northern Ireland, breakfast, lunch and evening meals when in Denmark.  Participants will be expected to meet any additional costs including farm relief and travel insurance.

Pig farmers interested in participating can find out more details and download an application on the Farm Innovation Visits page on this website. An information evening at Loughry Campus on Thursday 11 October from 8pm to 10pm to provide assistance with completing the application form.

Applications for the visit will close at 4pm on Friday 19 October 2018.

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