Schmallenberg vaccine ready for summer

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.

"This is the culmination of intensive activity on the part of MSD Animal Health and the VMD to make a safe and effective vaccine available to tackle Schmallenberg.

"Without in any way compromising the scientific rigour of our assessment process, we accelerated our assessment so that a vaccine will be available this summer.

"This means it will be possible to vaccinate sheep and cattle before most of them become pregnant. This is important as it is during pregnancy when exposure to the virus can cause damage to the foetus.

"Voluntary reports from our farmers show that 1,753 farms throughout Great Britain have now tested positive for the virus."

– Pete Borriello, CEO, Veterinary Medicines Directorate

Cattle from a herd on the outskirts of Dumfries were confirmed to have contracted SBV last month.