Livestock

Schmallenberg spreads to Yorkshire and Northumberland

Tuesday 09 October 2012 12:01
Lamb showing signs of having been infected with the Schmallenberg virus.

Farmers in the north of England are being urged to be on high alert for the Schmallenberg virus (SBV) after positive cases were reported in North Yorkshire and Northumberland.

DEFRA said this week that positive samples had been found in the two counties, but there is no data to suggest the disease had spread to Scotland.

The news comes as the breeding season on many sheep and beef farms kicks into gear.

"Farms in the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway 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."
Nigel Miller, NFUS

Commenting on the news NFU Scotland president, Nigel Miller said: "Farms in the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway 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."

In the meantime, he urged keepers to remain vigilant to any ill health within their herd or flock and test where SBV might be considered as a possible diagnosis.

Farms carrying animals bought in from infected areas in England and Wales are also advised to test those animals through the NFUS testing scheme. Samples taken by their vet can be sent to SAC or Biobest where NFUS will help subsidise the cost of laboratory testing.

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