An adult female feral pig from Central Oregon sampled for disease as part of a surveillance program tested positive for Pseudorabies (PRV), a contagious disease that can harm livestock and also spread to some wildlife species.
This pig was sampled on June 8, 2020 as a part of the ongoing feral pig control and disease surveillance program overseen by USDA Wildlife Services in Oregon. This is the first detection of PRV in a feral pig in Oregon since the surveillance program began in 2007.
Pseudorabies (also known as Aujeszky’s Disease) is a contagious, infectious, and communicable viral disease of livestock, causing neurologic, respiratory, and reproductive disorders. Pseudorabies is not related to rabies, though symptoms may resemble rabies. The disease does not affect humans. Although other livestock species have been known to occasionally become infected, the pig is the only natural host. The commercial hog industry has been PRV free since 2004.
“While the presence of PRV in Oregon has so far been an isolated event, it shows that our disease surveillance program is working, it is too early to know how this disease appeared in Oregon, but additional testing and investigation is ongoing,” said Ryan Scholz, ODA District Veterinarian. “There is no indication that there has been any exposure of domestic livestock in Oregon to the Pseudorabies virus, and this detection does not have any impact on Oregon’s recognition as being a PRV free state.”
Oregon has an aggressive program to capture and remove any feral pigs in Oregon. Beyond their potential to transmit disease to livestock, wildlife and humans, feral pigs cause damage to agricultural crops and fish and wildlife habitat. Their destructive rooting and grubbing activities increase erosion and degrade water quality in streams; encourage the growth of noxious weeds; and can cause millions of dollars in agricultural, environmental and property damage.