Vaccine to stop Schmallenberg

Farmers in the South say they are hopeful that a new vaccine against the deadly Schmallenberg virus will stop the spread of the disease. But many complain it maybe be too expensive to be effective.

REPORT: Schmallenberg vaccine released

It's a vaccine to combat a disease that causes severe birth defects and miscarriages in livestock - and it is going on sale in Britain for the first time.

It's welcome news for the region's farmers who've become increasingly concerned about the spread of the Schmallenberg virus in cattle and sheep. Latest figures showed more than 1,500 cases of it across the country.

Penny Silvester speaks to farmer David Barber, John Fishwick from Royal Veterinary College and Alick Simmons Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer.

Schmallenberg virus 'devastated our flocks'

Sheep on a farm in Oxfordshire
Sheep on a farm in Oxfordshire Credit: ITV News Meridian

Farmers have told ITV News Meridian that anything which can prevent the spread of the Schmallenberg virus would be very welcome because the disease 'devastated livestock in the South'.

At the beginning of this year more than 50 farms across the Meridian regions were reporting symptoms of the virus.

South East MPs have called for livestock movements to be restricted to prevent further spread.

ITV News reporter Penny Silvester speaks to farmers about the devastating impact of Schmallenberg
ITV News reporter Penny Silvester speaks to farmers about the devastating impact of Schmallenberg Credit: ITV News Meridian

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New vaccine to stop Schmallenberg virus

Farmers in the South and South East say they are optimistic that a new vaccine will help stop the spread of a deadly disease which causes severe birth defects and miscarriages in livestock.

Schmallenberg virus, which emerged in the Netherlands and Germany in 2011 and has been seen in cattle and sheep in the UK since early 2012, has been identified on more than 1,700 farms across the country.