08 March, 2012
Schmallenberg Virus has spread to Devon, reports have
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
has recently revealed that two new cases of the deadly virus have
been identified in Devon farms. This has brought the total amount
of reported cases in the UK up to at least 121.
The virus is typically spread by mosquitoes, midges and ticks.
It seemingly causes sheep to give birth to deformed lambs or become
seriously ill. Farms which have reported the disease are typically
losing around 10 per cent of their flock because of it.
According to fwi.co.uk, at least one farm in Cornwall,
another in Somerset and a further three in Dorset have had sheep
affected by the disease. The disease has also been affecting some
of Britain's cows; although the only reported cases of this have
come from the East of the country.
Malcolm Bennett, who is a professor of veterinary pathology, has
claimed that it will be a while before the full extent of the
disease is discovered.
He told Mail Online: "The main effect in sheep is on unborn
lambs, so only now, as we enter the peak period for lambing, are we
beginning to see the extent and severity of the disease."
It is thought that the Schmallenberg virus presents no health
risks to humans - even if they eat one of the animals affected by
Source: Vertical Leap