February 27, 2012 by staff
Schmallenberg Virus, A leading Cumbrian farmer says the outbreak of a new animal disease has the potential to be catastrophic for farmers across the country. Ravenglass-based Alistair Mackintosh, who is the chairman of the National Farmers Union’s livestock board, is urging county farmers to be vigilant following the emergence of the new Schmallenberg virus.
Thought to be spread by midges, it causes birth defects and miscarriages in livestock and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has confirmed the virus has now been found on 74 farms in England.
Five of the positive cases have been diagnosed in cattle, 69 in sheep, and none to date in other species. So far, none of the affected farms have reported importing animals during 2011 from affected areas in mainland Europe.
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