UK Schmallenberg cases on 29 farms
- Published on Tuesday, 07 February 2012 15:52
- Posted by Scott Buckler
The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency has found SBV positive lambs at premises in Norfolk (11 cases), Suffolk (6), Essex (2), Kent (5), East Sussex (7) and Hertfordshire (1). And the latest data, released today, includes the first case of SBV in a UK cattle sample, from West Sussex
Defra says infection is likely to have occurred in the summer or autumn of last year. The locations of UK cases would support the suspicion that transmission is by midges, rather than mosquitoes or ticks, and that the infection blew in from northern mainland Europe.
Enhanced surveillance for SBV infection has been implemented across GB and the number of samples submitted to AHVLA for SBV testing continues to increase.
Other affected countries have also detected the virus in cattle.
There are now confirmed Schmallenberg cases in five EU member states, with Germany worst affected, where 150 sheep farms have produced positive tests.
The Netherlands has identified SBV on three cattle farms, 84 sheep farms and 4 goat farms.
Belgium has reported finding virus-positive lambs with congenital deformities on 61 premises in several regions, and also a six-month calf foetus where the herd had reported milk drop during the summer and three cattle subsequently tested positive for the virus.
In France, ‘high risk zones’ remain in place (Alsace, Lorraine, Nor Pas de Calais, Picardie, Champagne Ardennes) and there have been 13 reports of virus identified.
An EU strategy to deal with the virus will be discussed by member state experts on the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) this week.
At present, a Europe-wide assessment has concluded that SBV is unlikely to cause illness in people. However, as this is a new virus, work is on-going to identify whether it could cause any health problems in humans. The Health Protection Agency has provided some questions and answers on SBV on its website.