Acute SBV detected in South England
The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has found evidence of acute cases of the Schmallenberg virus in adult dairy cattle across four counties in Southern England.
Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset and Oxfordshire lie in the known Schmallenberg-infected area, and the detection of the virus in these areas show that SBV has survived the winter and is being spread in these - and potentially other - areas.
The detections follow the recently introduced enhanced surveillance initiative for acute SBV by the AHVLA and the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC). The results will provide information about where the disease is circulating and will therefore allow farmers to prepare for any likely impact to their businesses.
Veterinary Director of AHVLA, Simon Hall, said: "Our findings indicate that the Schmallenberg virus has survived the winter and is being actively spread by midges in these, and possibly other, areas. Although we have seen a relatively limited impact from the disease on British farms, we recognise the concern it causes for farmers whose livestock are affected.
"Clinical signs in adult livestock are short-lived and the disease is not fatal. We believe there will be a good level of immunity in animals that were infected in 2011. Females animals that develop immunity before they become pregnant are unlikely to give birth to affected offspring."