1. ITV Report

Deadly livestock disease hits South West

A deadly virus which affects sheep and cattle has spread to Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire. The Schmallenberg infection causes birth defects and miscarriages in livestock.

It was first identified in Schmallenberg in Germany in December.

Disease was first identified in Schmallenberg in Germany in December

It spread to the UK in January. By the end of the month, 31 farms in the South of England were affected.

By mid-February it had spread to 52 farms, including one in Cornwall. 83 cases have now been identified - including farms in Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire.

A total of 83 cases have been identified in South West

On a farm near Bath, there are 800 pregnant Ewes, many carrying twins and triplets. Farmer Kevin Harrison won't be able to find out if the lambs are infected with the disease until they are born.

The National Farmers' Union says the disease is being under-reported so the situation could be far worse.

Sheep have been infected by midges carrying the virus from France. It affects the unborn lamb causing still birth or deformity, which makes the labour dangerous.

There are economic worries too. Fewer worries could increase the price of the meat and a crisis could cause a collapse in confidence abroad in British lamb as there was with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) which is more commonly known as Mad-Cow disease.

Scientists say virus doesn't spread to humans.

Scientists say the virus doesn't spread from sheep to humans and, at this early stage, the number of cases is very low.