Representatives from the NFU toured the Institute for Animal Health this week to hear of progress in understanding Schmallenberg virus (SBV).
Three early-career researchers from the Institute for Animal Health at Compton near Newbury had the chance to present their science to parliamentarians at the House of Commons on Monday (12 March). All three work on diseases of livestock that can cost the UK economy a great deal of money and threaten food security and animal welfare.
An emerging livestock disease caused by the Schmallenberg virus that was first detected in Germany late last year has been causing deformities in newborn lambs, goat kids and calves on farms in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and now the UK.
Schmallenberg – named after the place in Germany where the first sample of the virus was identified – causes deformities and still births in sheep, goats and cattle but does not have major clinical signs in adult animals, making it quite difficult to spot.