Virus reports down

Reports of new Schmallenberg virus cases, a new non-notifiable disease affecting sheep and cattle, has declined, according to UK officials.

There are now 245 UK farms reporting SBV, which can caused severe deformities in newborn lambs and calves: 30 in cattle and 215 in sheep - an increase of just six since before the Easter break. In Suffolk, 12 sheep farms and six cattle farms have confirmed cases, and in Essex, 11 sheep and one cattle case. All farms are within the recognised risk counties in England.

The decline in the numbers is in line with other EU countries, where the sheep reports have declined as lambing in ‘at risk’ sheep draws to an end.

This is also in line with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ own predictions, which considered UK farming practices and estimated time of infection occurring in the UK. The UK authorities continue to expect to see cases in cattle into early summer.