Schmallenburg virus confirmed in Dumfries

Eight cows from Dumfries have tested positive for the Schmallenburg virus (SBV).

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Livestock in Dumfries test positive for Schmallenburg

Eight cows from Dumfries have tested positive for the Schmallenburg virus (SBV).

The cattle are part of a 160-strong dairy herd from the Barony campus at Scotland's Rural College on the outskirts of the town.

Farmers in Dumfries and Galloway have now been put on alert for the disease which causes severe birth defects.

A small number of animals which were recently moved to Scotland tested positive for the disease, but the latest cases were all homebred, suggesting that SBV has been spread by midges.

"Since Schmallenberg was first detected in the south of England we have watched it spread slowly northwards.

"Confirmation of its arrival in Scotland is, therefore, no surprise but is nonetheless disappointing and undoubtedly a headache which farmers could do without at the moment.

"Following that confirmation, farmers should continue to exercise vigilance particularly when moving animals onto their farm and should consider testing breeding stock for the SBV antibody."

– Richard Lochhead, Rural Affairs Secretary

"These new results arose from testing we chose to do as part of other routine sampling at Barony.

"While the results were unexpected, they will now help us plan our breeding programme and consider vaccination when it becomes available later this year.

"That's exactly what we hope any findings of the proposed screening programme will help others with."

– Colin Mason, Manager, Dumfries surveillance centre
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