Livestock Virus Found in Wales; Farmer Vigilance Urged on Cow and Sheep Danger Bug
Byline: OWEN HUGHES
A VIRUS that causes severe deformities in lambs and calves has been detected in Wales.
Welsh farmers are being urged to be vigilant after Schmallenberg (SBV) was detected in three cows and one calf in Ceredigion.
The virus, which is thought to be carried by midges, first arrived in England in late 2011.
It produces fever, diarrhoea and loss of milk production in adult cattle, and late abortion or birth defects in newborn cattle, sheep and goats. It is thought to pose no risk to humans.
Farming unions said the news was a concern and urged farmers to be vigilant.
Ed Bailey, NFU Cymru president, said: "The timing of this news is especially worrying for Welsh farmers, given that it coincides with autumn breeding - one the most critical times of year on livestock farms.
"Animals infected with the virus during the early months of pregnancy are most at risk of producing deformed offspring and of having abortions.
"However, early reports do show us that livestock that had the disease earlier this year and last year will have developed immunity. …