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During the early spring of 2003, Doane Marketing Research Inc., St. Louis, conducted a shared cost study titled, "Focusing on Swine Ileitis." Nearly 200 U. S. swine producers who marketed a minimum of 5,000 pigs/hogs per year completed a 25 to 30 minute telephone survey. These producers represented annual marketings of nearly 32 million pigs/hogs.

Although most of the survey dealt with methods used to prevent and control swine ileitis, producers were initially asked to rate the importance of preventing and controlling a number of specific swine diseases on their operations. Using a scale of 1 to 10, where a rating of "1" represents little threat and little reason to prevent and control a specific disease and "10" represents a major disease threat and methods must be used to prevent and control the disease, the top six diseases and associated degree of threat were as follows:

After the producers had assigned a degree of threat rating for a total of twelve specific swine diseases, they were asked to select the most serious disease and the one that would be their first pick to treat. PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome) was by far the disease selected first, and the larger the operation, in terms of pigs/hogs marketed per year, the higher the percent of producers selecting PRRS as a major threat.

While many other swine diseases can be prevented or treated by injectible, water soluble, or feed grade medications or vaccines, PRRS can only be prevented by use of vaccine, breeding stock selection and good management practices. These producers would agree that PRRS is their number one swine disease threat. AM

For more information about Doane Marketing Research's "Focusing on Swine Ileitis" study and other study offerings, contact Dave Tugend at or at 216/491-9515, ext. 211.

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