Schmallenberg Virus Makes a Strong Foothold in England

Schmallenberg Virus Makes a Strong Foothold in England

Schmallenberg virus had arrived in England slightly more than a year ago and a recent report's revelations have raised the virus-related concerns amongst one and all. The report has shown that the virus has expanded itself over the time reaching almost each and every county.

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) had carried out an inquest and it has confirmed all counties across the nation have been contaminated. Also, all main livestock-producing areas in Wales have been confirmed with the same.

The disease has the potential to cause deformities in lambs and calves. Besides, the virus sometimes causes them to be stillborn. Nigel Gibbens, chief veterinary officer, has warned that further cases could be seen if winter lambing progresses.

However, the impact of the virus is expected to be low, though earlier it was 40-50%. It is being said that 4-6% of infected herds may only experience 2-5% loss as a result of deformed and stillborn offspring.

The reason as he says might be a number of factors like synchronization of oestrus may increasingly risk flocks of deformed lambs. "In the absence of a vaccine, the message to farmers is to continue to exercise vigilance, particularly about animal movements, which are the most likely source of SBV infection in Scotland", said Scottish chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas.

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