Schmallenberg Virus Confirmed in the UK

The AHVLA (The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency) have confirmed that the Schmallenberg virus (SBV) have been detected on four sheep farms in Norfolk, Suffolk and East Sussex.

Since August 2011, both the Netherlands and Germany have reported outbreaks of a disease in cattle, with clinical signs including fever, reduced milk yield, inappetence, loss of body condition and, principally in Dutch herds, diarrhoea. Herds experienced outbreaks of disease lasting 2-3 weeks, with individual affected animals recovering over several days.

Tests carried out on cases in Germany and the Netherlands have identified a novel virus that has tentatively been named Schmallenberg virus (SBV). This virus appears to belong to a group of viruses that are spread by insect vectors, principally midges and mosquitoes, although a vector that may be responsible for transmission of SBV has not been identified yet.

SBV is classed as a novel disease and is not a notifiable disease and therefore currently there are no trade restrictions in place.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control  in their risk assessment state the risk to human health from SBV is likely to be very low. Nevertheless, farmers and veterinary surgeons are advised to take sensible hygiene precautions when working with livestock.

For more information please refer to the AHVLA briefing note.

Source : AHVLA

About ABurne

Andy Burne has worked in Technical Management for many years in the food industry. Now he is a certified BRC auditor and provides consultancy to the Food Industry.