The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (VAAFM) is reporting that a single feral pig was shot and killed by USDA Wildlife Services in Lyndonville, VT. Subsequently the boar tested positive for pseudorabies virus infection, or PRV recently.
Vermont has been certified free from PRV since October 1995. PRV is not related to rabies and does not affect humans; however, the disease is a threat to domestic swine. There is no treatment.
PRV can cause abortions and stillbirths in adult swine and is nearly 100% fatal in young pigs. Pigs that survive the infection can shed the virus throughout their lives, spreading the disease and serving as a source of infection to their herd mates and other farms.
The disease is known as “pseudorabies” because animals sometimes show neurological symptoms. Typically, feral swine are the reservoir for this illness which is transmitted through nose to nose contact. PRV can be fatal in other livestock species including cattle, sheep, and goats, as well as dogs and cats.
Currently, officials have no knowledge of any other feral swine in the state of Vermont or the area where this pig was recovered.