Shock UK losses raise Schmallenberg fears
Published 05/12/2012 | 06:00
Pregnancy scans show dangers to lambs and calves
Pregnancy scanners in Britain have reported potentially devastating losses of calves and lambs, which could be linked to Schmallenberg infection.
Individual scanners have reported early lambing losses as high as 66pc on some farms and empty rates of up to 50pc on some cattle farms.
However, vets have warned that poor nutrition or other infections such as toxoplasmosis, border disease and bluetongue could be to blame for the low scanning rates.
Two further cases of the Schmallenberg virus here in Ireland have been confirmed by veterinary staff in the Department of Agriculture in the past week.
The new cases bring to 13 the total number of farms where Schmallenberg has been confirmed in Ireland.
The 13 farms have so far been confined to counties Wexford and Cork, where tests of aborted calf foetuses have confirmed the presence of genetic material from the virus.
Department of Agriculture officials said that only a minority of the aborted foetuses were malformed and they typically showed up as shortened lower jaws or abnormalities of the central nervous system.