Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge announced at a press conference held in January that the number of pseudorabies cases in Iowa has dropped to zero.
"It was through the collaborative partnership of the Iowa Department of Agriculture, the swine producers, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the legislature that made this possible," she said.
Judge pointed out that, even though this is an extraordinary accomplishment, pseudorabies will not be considered eradicated from Iowa for at least one year at zero infection status.
"Monitoring and vaccinations will continue. We plan on working hard and remaining vigilant to keep Iowa pseudorabies free," she concluded.
Iowa state veterinarian, Dr. John J. Schiltz, agreed that the job of keeping Iowa clear of pseudorabies is not yet finished, and the state will need continued support to maintain the level of vaccination and testing.
"This represents the achievement of an important milestone and goal for the Iowa pseudorabies program," Dr. Schiltz said. "An essential benchmark has been met."
He credited Iowa state and federal office and field staff, Iowa State University diagnostic laboratory and extension services, practitioners, and producers with contributing to the effort. He sets one of the state's goals as having PRV infection declared a foreign animal disease.
Eradication efforts in Iowa began in 1989 in the known infected counties and by 1993 grew into a statewide effort with over 4,000 infected herds. In 1998, after taking office, Secretary Judge stepped up the department's efforts in eliminating the disease.
Iowa has over 19,000 pork producers and ranks number one in the nation in pork production, raising and processing over a quarter of the nation's pork supply.