The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has licensed veterinary pharmaceutical company MSD Animal Health to provide the "Bovolis SBV" vaccine for animals affected by the Schmallenberg virus.
VMD chief executive Pete Borriello said:
The Schmallenberg virus originated in Germany and is carried on the wind by midges.
Outbreaks have tended to coincide with midge seasons during hotter weather.
There is no evidence of any health risk to humans, but symptoms in livestock include:
- Causes mild symptoms in adult cattle such as fever and diarrhoea
- Reduces milk in dairy cows
- Animals that have been infected are immune
- Two-30% of infected sheep, cattle and goats give birth to deformed or stillborn offspring
A new vaccine could be made available to farmers whose livestock has been affected by the Schmallenberg virus, it was announced today.
The virus, which emerged in the Netherlands and Germany in 2011 and causes severe birth defects and miscarriages, has been identified on more than 1,700 farms across the country.
Adult animals infected by virus-carrying midges, thought to have blown across the Channel, gave birth to deformed or stillborn lambs and calves.
UK farmers will be the first in the European Union to have access to the vaccine, which will be used this summer, before most animals become pregnant again.
A vaccine to protect animals against the Schmallenberg Virus (SBV), has been developed and UK farmers will be the first to access it by summer.
The vaccine helps to protect sheep and cattle against birth defects cause by the virus.
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has issued a license to provide the new "Bovilis SBV' vaccine.
Cattle from a herd on the outskirts of Dumfries were confirmed to have contracted SBV last month.
Animal health experts in southern Scotland say they are braced for the Schmallenberg disease to spread.
The virus was confirmed last week for the first time in mainland Scotland when it appeared on a farm close to Dumfries.
The disease, which can lead to birth defects in sheep and cattle, has already appeared in Cumbria.
Vets in Scotland say they will now monitor the illness closely.
Matthew Taylor has this report:
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.
New developments in technology that may be of use to farmers were on display at the Westmorland Show Ground today.
One of the main talking points is the fairly new virus which can cause still births in lambs and calfs and is spreading north through the UK.
The Schmallenberg Virus was first discovered in continental Europe two years ago.Andy Burn has sent this report.
A virus that causes still births and deformaties in lambs and calves is spreading towards the north of England. It has prompted vets to urge farmers to keep an eye out for signs of the disease in their livestock to try and control the spread.
It's called the Schmallenberg virus, named after the German town where it was first found.