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California Department of Food and Agriculture

Swine Brucellosis


The Disease

Brucellosis in pigs is an infectious and contagious disease caused by the bacteria, Brucella suis. The disease spreads in semen during breeding and by ingesting, inhaling or eye contact with bacteria in milk, reproductive fluids, placenta, aborted fetuses and urine. The disease primarily occurs in adult pigs which show non-specific infertility, abortion or lack of sexual drive. Boars can show signs of orchitis, lameness, arthritis, abscesses and posterior paralysis. There is no treatment for the disease and no effective vaccine.

WARNING: In some areas of California, B. suis is established in the feral pig populations. It is important to maintain separation of domestic and feral swine.


California History

On November 4, 2003 blood samples from three boars killed in Stanislaus County indicated brucellosis infection. On November 18, 2003 two sows killed in Fresno County also indicated infection. CDFA officials traced both sets of animals to a small swine herd in Tulare County. The herd was placed under quarantine and tests revealed the herd was infected. On December 18, 2003 the sows and boars were destroyed and their carcasses incinerated.


Current State Swine Brucellosis Status & Updates

California is involved in the National Swine Brucellosis Eradication Program. In 1980 California was declared a Certified Free (Stage 3) State.

Contact your local CDFA Animal Health Branch District Office if you have any questions.