Keepeing a close eye on disease

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No SIGN of the disease spreading but no complacency warned NFU Scotland yesterday after its ongoing surveillance for Schmallenberg virus (SBV) continued to show lower than expected levels of activity across Scotland. The union, along with SRUC and Biobest, has been monitoring a network of dairy farms across Scotland for presence of the virus in their bulk milk and no positives have yet been confirmed.

But veterinary surveillance in Aberdeenshire has found new cases of SBV in Scotland this year and the union urged livestock farmers to continue working with their vets to minimise the impact of the virus on their cows and sheep.

Spread by midges, SBV was first identified on German and Dutch farms in 2011 and has since spread throughout Europe with almost 2000 cases in the UK.

It had been predicted the virus would be circulating more widely in Scotland this year and the union wrote to all its members about SBV in the summer.