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Schmallenberg virus

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Flock of sheep

Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is a new virus which has been reported in cattle, sheep and goats. SBV is not a notifiable disease.

This virus belongs to a group of viruses that are spread by insects (mostly midges). The disease was first discovered in Germany in 2011 and since then has been found across Northern and Western Europe and the UK.

SBV was detected for the first time in Wales, on a premises in Ceredigion, in September 2012.

The virus has been associated with brief mild/moderate disease in adult cattle.  Late abortion or birth defects have been observed in newborn cattle, sheep and goats.

A vaccine against SBV has now been given marketing authorisation and is available for use across the UK.  Livestock keepers interested in more information about the vaccine should contact their private veterinary surgeon.

Related links:

EU impact assessment (external link).

Schmallenberg virus: analysis of the epidemiological data November 2012 (external link)