29-11-2013 09:32 AM | United Kingdom

Schmallenberg livestock virus came to UK from windblown insect

The Schmallenberg virus that first appeared in U.K. livestock in late 2011 probably was carried by infected midges blown across the English Channel from France and Belgium, according to an Oxford University study.

The disease, which causes birth defects in sheep and cattle, is “highly dependent” on wind direction, according to the study published in Scientific Reports.

The virus came to the U.K. via infected midges from at least 10 farms in France and Belgium, according to the report, which shows the lag time between infection and detection makes it difficult to control. Livestock not in the “critical stage of pregnancy may carry the disease unnoticed,” according to the report.
Full Story : Bloomberg