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First Northern cases of animal virus detected
THE first case of acute Schmallenberg virus (SBV) has been detected in North Yorkshire.
The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agency yesterday confirmed it had also been found on premises in West Yorkshire and that both involve cattle.
A spokesman said they had been found as a result of their enhanced surveillance initiative where animals show signs such as diarrhoea, fever and a reduction in milk yield. The signs are usually short lived and not fatal.
The midge borne virus was first detected in Germany and Holland and reached southern England last year.
It causes relatively mild conditions in cattle and sheep but where infection takes place in the early stages of pregnancy it can result in stillbirths, abortions and deformities in lambs and calves.
The virus has slowly spread up the country but the two acute cases are the first to be found in Yorkshire.
A spokesman for the NorthEast National Farmers’ Union said farmers would be reassured that the small number of cases had been picked up by the enhanced surveillance measures.
She said: “However, it is obviously of concern and we are waiting for details of the circumstances surrounding these cases before we can issue anything further.”
In the meantime farmers have been urged to be vigilant and report any concerns to their vet.
It is understood the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agency will be issuing a full statement on Monday