Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Schmallenberg Impacts Sheep in Britain

The Telegraph reports that Schmallenberg infections among sheep have spread throughout the U.K. From the story:

Nigel Gibbens, Chief Veterinary Officer, said farmers have already had a tough year because of the wet summer and rising feed costs.
Now they face a harrowing lambing season between Christmas and May as the majority of flocks and herds are infected with Shmallenberg.
The virus first arrived in Britain last year, spread by midges blown over from the Continent, and was recorded in almost 1,000 farms.
Over the summer the midges have spread the disease across most of the south of England and Wales.
However infection does not necessarily mean animals will die.
Healthy adults cows and sheep will suffer little more than flu-like symptoms.
But if pregnant animals are infected they can give birth to deformed or dead young.
Last year more than 200 deformed sheep foetuses and more than 50 deformed calves were recorded and the number is expected to go up this year.

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