27 February 2015 | Online since 2003



Disease fears blight early lambing season


Recent reports have confirmed farmers' worries over a return of the Schmallenberg virus in sheep and cattle with figures indicating up to 60% loss being suffered by early lambing flocks.

The disease, which leads to lambs and calves being stillborn or deformed, has led to farmers complaining over a lack of information about the virus which is currently confirmed on 147 farms around the UK.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) warned the animal health sector over a possible return of Schmallenberg last December.

Reports from Europe led the National Sheep Association (NSA) to look for ways in which the UK could better equip itself to deal with the midge-borne virus in 2013.

"With this number of losses, the disease is probably having a bigger impact than bluetongue. DEFRA are still calling the disease low impact and that may, or may not, be the case. But for the individuals it is not low impact at all" said Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive.

"Anecdotal reports from France and other areas of Europe suggest Schmallenberg may be causing more problems in its second year than expected, possibly because livestock does not develop the level of immunity anticipated."

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency would be forced to collect the data if Schmallenberg was a notifiable disease, but NSA believes this would not be in the interest of the industry, due to the implications it would have on trade between UK and other countries, both in the EU and further afield.

"It would be great if the Government could collect this data, so we better understood the situation and how to implement control strategies, including vaccination programmes once a vaccine is available".

"However, given the reality of the situation, NSA feels very strongly that industry should pull together and ensure a solution is found."

Defra said it was "closely tracking the disease and will continue to work with partners across Europe and the UK to develop our knowledge of the disease".

Liver fluke is also causing havoc in many parts of the UK, recent reports show.

Peter Baber, Chairman of SCOPS (Sustainable Control Of Parasites in Sheep), says the recent heavy rains across the UK have maintained the high risk of liver fluke in sheep and cattle and he stressed the need for farmers to urgently contact their vet or prescriber to discuss your fluke control programme.

Recent reports from the AHVLA show a tenfold increase in the number of cases of acute fasciolosis in the last quarter of 2012 compared with 2011 and a fourfold increase in the number of cases of chronic disease.

These data are supported by reports from veterinary practitioners, who are also diagnosing fasciolosis at post mortem examinations of sheep for their farming clients in a large number of cases.

The SCOPS group put out a fluke alert at the end of summer warning that, due to the wet summer, the fluke risk would be high. Farmers were urged to discuss the situation on their farms with their prescriber.

The fluke challenge has, as anticipated, been very high this year and the traditional treatment times are no longer applicable.

There have been other forecasts warning of a rise in liver fluke. January's Parasite Forecast from the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) showed a significant risk factor across most of the rest of the UK.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


24 February 2015
Veterinary Investigation Officer (part time), Edinburgh
Our ambitious and exciting vision is to work at local, national and international levels, leading innovation and sustainable ...

19 February 2015
Sales Manager Renewables in Agricultural
Having provided numerous biomass and solar schemes they are now looking to grow further and are looking for a sales manager w...

26 February 2015
Legal Secretary - Real Estate
The firm has a strong sector focus with expertise in agriculture, charities, education, food and beverage, health, insurance,...

19 February 2015
Virtualisation Expert - Hyper-V / VM platform
App 6.5 / 7.5 farm design, delivery and support. Virtualisation Expert Hyper-V / VM platform....

17 February 2015
BBSRC CASE PhD Studentship in Agricultural Biochemistry - Smart formulation development for precision crop protection
Agriculture, Food and Veterinary. Professor Robert Edwards , School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development....




Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...