Virus Threat To Livestock

A disease which causes deformities in new born lambs has been identified in Leicestershire for a second time. The Schmallenberg Virus causes birth defects in sheep, goats and cattle.

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Schmallenberg virus: Farmer welcomes vaccine

Schmallenberg Virus is an emerging livestock disease that has been detected across Northern Europe. Credit: PA

A farmer from Leicestershire, who lost 40 per cent of his flock to a fatal virus, has welcomed the news that a vaccine is now available.

Charles Sercome lost £10,000 worth of livestock to the Schmallenburg Virus, which spreads when midges bite pregnant ewes, causing lambs to develop severe abnormalities.

Evidence suggests that the disease was brought into the UK from infected midges blown across the Channel.

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