Irish on alert as virus hits Britain
Both the IFA and ICMSA have put their members on high alert for the new Schmallenberg virus, which has now been detected on more than 70 British farms.
The presidents of both bodies have pleaded with farmers and importers to resist the temptation of sourcing British stock because of "the perceived better value" available there at the moment.
The virus is believed to have spread from the Continent by midges crossing the Channel, in much the same way that Blue-tongue got into the British herd nearly five years ago. The hope is the same measures that prevented that disease getting onto Irish farms will prevail again.
However, as the lambing season gets under way, sheep farmers in the east of Britain are discovering increasing numbers of deformed lambs.