Schmallenberg Virus Kills Thousands Of Sheep In England
Scientists have discovered a new virus that has affected livestock in England

The Schamallenberg virus, named for a small town in Germany which is believed to be its point of origin, has already killed several heads of livestock in England. An earlier IBTimes UK report spoke on details of the virus, including points of transmission, symptoms and potential high risk areas.

Now, according to a report by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) that was released on Friday, the Schmallenberg virus has already infected 74 farms in England.

The AHVLA report reads: "Five of the positive cases have been diagnosed in cattle, 69 in sheep, and none to date in other species. So far, none of the affected farms have reported importing animals during 2011 from the affected areas in mainland Europe. Positive cases of SBV virus have now been identified on the Isle of Wight and in Wiltshire, West Berkshire and Gloucestershire. This is in addition to the counties in the east and south of England which have previously had cases identified, namely Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, East and West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Hampshire and Cornwall."

Schmallenberg Virus: First Pictures of Deformed Lambs

"This is a ticking time bomb," Alastair Mackintosh from the National Farmers Union told The Telegraph, "We don't yet know the extent of the disease. We only find out the damage when sheep and cows give birth, and by then it's too late."

"For a farmer to lose 20 per cent of your flock is catastrophic. If it was 50 per cent you would be put out of action," he added.

Here is chart* that shows how many animals have been infected by this virus...

LocationCattleSheep Total
Cornwall

1

1

East Sussex

14

14

Essex

3

3

Gloucestershire

1

1

Hampshire

1

1

Hertfordshire

3

3

Isle of Wight

1

1

Kent

12

12

Norfolk

2

14

16

Suffolk

2

12

14

Surrey

1

1

West Berkshire

1

1

West Sussex

4

5

Wiltshire

1

1

Total

5

69

74

* Figures correct as of Feb. 24, 2012. Data from Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency

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