The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr Christianne Glossop has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of SBV which was first detected in Wales in September 2012.
Dr Christianne Glossop said:
“We now have evidence of SBV infection across most, if not all counties in Wales, and we have also recently detected our first clinical case of SBV in a deformed lamb.
“These developments mean it is likely that malformed lambs and calves will be born in Wales in the spring 2013 as a result of some Welsh sheep and cattle being infected with SBV around the time of mating this year.
“Malformation in newborns can of course increase birth complications, and increase the need for veterinary assistance. There can also be serious welfare implications.
“As we approach the lambing season for many, I would therefore encourage farmers and livestock holders to be vigilant for signs of the disease and to seek swift veterinary assistance if they have any concerns.”
The Welsh Government has published guidance for farmers and vets on possible mitigation measures against Schmallenberg on its website.
The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) also regularly updates its website with useful information about Schmallenberg for farmers.
SBV testing is available commercially and through AHVLA to help farmers work with their vets to understand the status of their own herds of flocks.
Work is also continuing to develop a vaccine for SBV and a submission for a provisional licence has been made to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. Once a vaccine for SBV is available, farmers should discuss its use with their vets.