Schmallenberg Immunity Fails to Emerge
December 14, 2012
The deadly Schmallenberg virus has infected sheep and cattle at more than 700 farms this year, but experts fear the worst is still to come.
Animal health professionals believe the latest United Kingdom (UK) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures, which show there have been 262 cases on sheep farms and 453 on cattle holdings throughout the country, may have only “scratched the surface” as hundreds of other cases could have gone unreported.
Farm chiefs say the disease threat will only add to the pressures faced by many livestock farmers across the UK, with some early lambing flocks losing more than 50 percent of lambs.
National Sheep Association (NSA) chief executive, Phil Stocker, said a lack of data meant it was difficult to fully understand the extent of the situation and implement control strategies to tackle the virus.