The Western College of Veterinary Medicine says, because the virus responsible for Post-weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome is endemic is swine herds, depopulation is not considered a realistic option for dealing with the infection.
Post-weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome is a swine disease which typically occurs between six and 15 weeks of age.
It was discovered about 10 years ago but is creating controversy as the Australian swine industry attempts to use the courts to block pork imports from nations that have reported outbreaks.
Western College of Veterinary Medicine Associate Professor Dr. John Harding says the virus responsible for the disease, porcine circovirus type 2 has been around for over 30 years, but few farms actually ever experience PMWS.
There's two different syndromes in barns that we see. One is a low grade infection and that means that very few pigs would show clinical signs.
It smolders but really doesn't cause any substantial increase in mortality or level of sickness on those farms and obviously, in that situation, is very controllable and that's the way most pig farms are.
The flip side of that though is a situation where in some farms or in some countries we have the fairly explosive outbreak of severe disease which causes severe and high mortality.
When farms become infected in that way they certainly have high mortality for a period of time, probably outwards of 16 to 24 months, before it tends to subside and go back to pre-outbreak levels.
Dr. Harding says, because circovirus infects all pigs in the countryside but only a select few farms develop clinical disease, farm depopulation would not be a preferred option.
He says the control across any farm is instilling good management practices.