Schmallenberg survey calls for farmers to take part

Virology researchers at the University of Nottingham are calling for farmers to complete their latest Schmallenberg impact survey.

The study, carried out by researchers at the university’s School of Veterinary Science and Medicine, is a repeat of the one run in 2017 during the last significant outbreak of the Schmallenberg virus.

Researchers are once again trying to piece together an accurate picture of the virus’ effect on livestock this year.

See also: Farmers say more data needed on Schmallenberg impact

It is hoped that farmers sharing their experiences will provide greater insight into the scale of the outbreak, to add to researchers’ existing knowledge of the cyclical pattern Schmallenberg follows.

Also included in the study are questions on bluetongue, as it is understood that both viruses are spread by the same midges, and may cause the same types of lamb and calf deformities.

The survey is anonymous, and only requires the first two letters of a farm’s postcode so that responses can be mapped by county – but holdings will otherwise be unidentifiable.

Findings from the study will be shared with participants, and it is hoped that the results could demonstrate demand for vaccine production.