SBV virus warning

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BORDERS farmers are being urged to consult with their vets over the threat of Schmallenberg virus (SBV).

SBV was found on farms in Yorkshire and Northumberland last week, putting the region at risk.

NFU Scotland is putting up cash for farmers importing stock from SBV risk areas to test for the virus.

And president Nigel Miller, a qualified vet, said: “Farms planning on putting rams or bulls out in the coming weeks should consider the risk of SBV and seek advice from their vet on the possible benefits of delaying until later in the year. Lower temperatures reduce midge and virus activity and present a low transmission window. In the meantime, keepers should remain vigilant to any ill health within their herd or flock and test where SBV might be considered as a possible diagnosis.”

SBV causes fever, reduced milk yield and loss of condition, but if the infection happens during early pregnancy, it can result in congenital disorders in lambs and calves, stillbirths and abortions.