A third case of case of Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) has been confirmed in Scotland. The latest case involved a homebred heifer calf on a farm north of Aberdeen which was found to have deformities typical of Schmallenberg and tested positive for the virus.

PCR testing was carried out by Moredun Research Institute following a post mortem examination of the calf undertaken by SAC Consulting, Veterinary Services, part of Scotland’s Rural College.

SAC Veterinary Services Manager Brian Hosie said: “Although we cannot predict what will happen, given that there have now been three cases of SBV in Aberdeenshire it is likely that further cases will be identified in the area in the near future.

This third case emphasises the need for sheep and cattle farmers to consider their own situation and discuss it with their vet practice.”

Initial investigations suggest the virus was possibly introduced to Aberdeenshire with store cattle brought in from infected areas last autumn. Midges could have spread the virus from the store cattle to the homebred stock over the late autumn/early winter.

SRUC advises any farmers who encounter foetal abnormalities, stillbirths or newborns showing signs of nervous disease are advised should contact their vet, or local SAC Consulting: Veterinary Services Disease Surveillance Centre (DSC).

They should not assume these are cases of Schmallenberg virus infection as other diseases can cause birth defects in lambs and calves and it is important to know which disease you are dealing with.

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