Schmallenberg Virus

The following has been received from APHA:
“On 21st December 2016 Schmallenberg virus was confi rmed by PCR as the cause of abortion on four different holdings in the South West of England in aborted foetuses presenting with deformities. In all cases the practitioner had performed post mortem examination and submitted samples to APHA for testing from holdings in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. The test costs for SBV PCR in these cases was not charged to the practitioner as it formed part of our surveillance for SBV which we carry out on all on foetal submissions presenting with deformities consistent with suspicion of SBV. APHA is the only laboratory performing the PCR test. Since January 2016 there have been 24 investigations in sheep with these four being the fi rst positive cases in sheep following on from the first positive case reported in a calf in Devon last month”.

 

While we have not seen any cases in our area and we are much further north, we feel that there may be reason for concern here. A few herds in the region have seen a conception rate fall and spikes in temperatures which might indicate infection in the summer. If this is the case then we can expect to see abortions and deformed calves or lambs in the next couple of months.
There is no active surveillance in our area so we have no way of knowing the extent of virus circulation. More information can be found at the APHA website or speak to one of the farm vets.
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/animal-and-plant-health-agency

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