Schmallenberg confirmed as disease spreads north

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A CASE of Schmal lenberg Disease (SBV) has been confirmed in a calf born to a homebred, suckler heifer on a farm outside Aberdeen. The calf was severely deformed and the veterinary surgeon had to assist with the calving.

The confirmation of SBV in Aberdeenshire is the furthest north it has been found, with the only previous cases in Scotland being in Dumfries and Galloway.

Initial investigations have suggested the virus was possibly introduced with store cattle from Dumfriesshire last autumn. Midges could have spread the virus from the store cattle to the homebred stock while the cattle were housed over the winter.

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) yesterday advised any farmers who encounter foetal abnormalities, stillbirths or newborns showing signs of nervous disease to contact their vet, or local SAC Consulting centre.

ANDREW ARBUCKLE