25 February 2012 | By Alistair Driver
SCHMALLENBERG Virus (SBV) could have been affecting livestock in Europe last year, without its presence being detected, NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller has suggested.
Mr Miller was commenting after a group of Scottish farming and livestock organisations issued a joint statement urging Scottish farmers to exercise ‘extreme caution’ in light of the threat of SBV.
He said confirmed cases of SBV across Europe now ‘run well into four figures’, with Italy and Luxembourg now affected alongside Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, France and the UK.
“In the UK, as we move into lambing and calving season, the number of cases reported and the areas recording infection across the South of England are growing.
“The escalation and range of cases is deeply concerning and some experts are now suggesting that the volume of cases being seen is an indication that this is, in fact, the second year of infection.
“If that is the case then it raises the worrying prospect that the virus may have an effective over wintering mechanism that can deal with European conditions.”
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