Herd & Flock Health

Schmallenberg Virus is a new emerging livestock disease that has been detected in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

It is similar to some other animal disease pathogens, such as the Blue Tongue virus, which is transmitted by vectors, such as midges, mosquitoes and ticks.

The virus has been associated with brief mild/moderate disease (milk drop, pyrexia, diarrhoea) in adult cattle and late abortion or birth defects in newborn cattle, sheep and goats.

Schmallenberg Virus is not a notifiable disease but farmers and vets should remain vigilant and report any suspicious cases to AHVLA for testing as part of their enhanced surveillance. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control suggests that there is a low likelihood of any risk to public health.

At present there is no treatment. We strongly reccomend that you apply spot-on insecticides regularly.

April 2012: Schmallenberg virus (SBV) infection has been identified on 158 farms. Eleven of the positive cases have been diagnosed in cattle, 147 in sheep, and none to date in other species. No increase in the counties affected. SBV infection has only been identified in areas at risk of midge incursion from Northern Europe during summer / autumn 2011.

Herd/Flock Health plans form an important part in farm animal production. These plans are inevitably unique to each farm and require periodic reviews to update any changes that may have occurred on the farm. In some instances they are compulsory when supplying produce to dairies etc.

Preparation of the plans usually requires an initial visit as a fact finding excercise from which the report can be produced. Please contact the surgery if you require such a plan.

Herd & Flock Health