WILL THE VIRUS CLAIM ASYLUM AND GET A COUNCIL HOUSE AND STATE BENEFITS
Deadly sheep virus may spread across Britain by end of the year, experts warn
- Schmallenberg virus found on 276 farms in southern and eastern England
- Causes newborn lambs and calves to be born dead or with severe deformities
- FSA: No danger that humans can catch the disease
A virus which causes newborn lambs and calves to be born dead or with serious deformities could spread across Britain by the end of year.
Experts warned today that the Schmallenberg virus – found on 276 British farms since it first entered this country last year – has not died out as hoped.
It has already killed hundreds of animals in southern and eastern England, and could spread north and west and into Wales and Scotland in the coming months.
Some farmers have reported up to 50 per cent of their lambs affected, although the average rate of affected newborns per farm is only 2 to 5 per cent.
The disease is thought to be spread by midges – tiny bloodsucking insects which blow into England from continental Europe where Schmallenberg disease has hit thousands of farms in eight countries.