DEFRA does not plan to introduce laws that would force farmers to declare cases of the Schmallenberg virus.
In a statement to the House of Commons, farm minister Jim Paice said that giving the virus “notifiable status” was unnecessary because regulation could not control the spread of the disease.
“The deformed lambs and calves are from infection caused last autumn when midges season,” he said.
“I urge all farmers to report any particular evidence. At the moment, we do not see any need for notifiability, but that matter is under review,” he said.
The private veterinary sector and farmers are providing a tremendous amount of information. Samples all go into our labs for testing, the minister said.
He also revealed that the government did not plan to block livestock imports from countries where the virus was prevalent such as Germany, The Netherlands, France and Belgium.
“Any further regulation will be based on the best scientific advice,” he added.
Requirements for a notifiable disease:
– Impact must be severe, widespread and disruptive
– Risk to human health
– Disease must be controllable by movement restriction
For more background and information go to our Schmallenberg dedicated page
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