4:50 pm, Mon 22 Apr 2013 Schmallenberg Disease confirmed in Dumfriesshire
Full report: Farmers prepare for spread of Schmallenberg
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:
1:12 pm, Wed 27 Mar 2013 Schmallenburg virus confirmed in Dumfries
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
5:11 pm, Mon 15 Oct 2012 Schmallenberg virus warning
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.
3:00 pm, Mon 15 Oct 2012 Schmallenberg virus warning
Farmers urged to keep eye out for virus
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.