Schmallenberg virus first presented itself in a small German town of the same name in December 2011.
Reports from UK sheep farmers suggest deformities in anything from 1% to 25% of lambs with a distressing economic effect.
Director of Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group, John Macfarlane offers some information and advice on this devastating infection.
“Our main message to farmers is to look out for abnormal lambs or calves and report this immediately to your vet who will advise you where to go from there.”
1. Report any abortions, stillborns, deformed or “dummy” newborns and any unusual illness patterns to your vet.
2. Although a blood test is available in the UK labs may still want the entire carcass. Animal Health Veterinary Laboratory Agency labs are investigating suspect cases free of charge and Scottish Agricultural College labs are testing for SBV free of charge.
3. It is important that the presence of this disease in our region is identified immediately. Contact your vet or local AHVLA office before bringing animals from Europe or the south of the UK onto your farm. Control the proposed vectors, midges as effectively as you can with ectoparasiticides Maintain good health levels in your herd/flock.