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Schmallenberg Virus
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Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 5466
Location: Cornwall
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 12 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

yup, on the news here in the last couple of days.....

Melli-Jane



Joined: 09 Mar 2011
Posts: 264
Location: East Sussex
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 12 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

not looking so good here now - one friend is lambing and lost 7 lambs to it already, and there are 4 more farms in the area confirmed. I'm just holding my breath now for my girls when they kid

BadgerFace



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 914
Location: Sussex
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 12 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Now confirmed on 10 holdings in East Sussex.

http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla/2012/02/21/schmallenberg-virus-further-update-gb-testing-results/

Apparently closely related to the Akabane Virus. It is thought infection happens around 28-35 day gestation. I start lambing in five weeks, dreading it.

oaklandspigs



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 112
Location: East Sussex
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 12 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ow !

Trouble is as far as I can see there's nothing to be done about it. I am going to a briefing in the next few days - like Badgerface am worrying about how our lambing will go

Bebo



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 12395
Location: East Sussex
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 12 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Was chatting to our neighbour earlier, they are due to start lambing at the beginning of April. Supposedly a couple of cases have been identified down on Romney Marsh. They are already talking about setting up a table ready in case the vet has to come in and do any emergency caesarians.

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 2999
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 12 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Quote:
21 February 2012 – Schmallenberg virus: further update on GB testing results

DEFRA/AHVLA
"Schmallenberg virus (SBV) has now been identified in samples submitted from 58 farms across the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Cornwall and Wiltshire.
Due to the increase in reports of SBV identified in France, the areas at comparatively higher risk in the UK have been revised in line with the plume modeling data from the summer which models areas at risk of midge incursion from northern Europe.
These areas include Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire and therefore an increase in risk for South Wales. The timing of the most dense plumes would have been in late October for this south west region.
This is therefore in line with the appearance of deformities in lambs being born now, assuming the highest risk period for lambs is if the mother is infected at approximately one month into gestation. The majority of the GB cases of SBV infection have been diagnosed in sheep to date.
Figures correct as of 21 February 2012
See totals at DEFRA/AHVLA
Flutrackers has a useful map showing infection areas of Europe.


From http://warmwell.com/schmallenbergall.html

Melli-Jane



Joined: 09 Mar 2011
Posts: 264
Location: East Sussex
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 12 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

the information I have been passed on from our farm training group and a member who has dealt with it first hand is that the ewe shows no sign and will go into a normal labour. If the labour becomes lengthy or there are any problems be prepared to help her - the lambs will be distorted in the womb preventing her from delivering them naturally. Majority of these infected are still born but a few are alive but with neuro or physical problems and are likely to require culling. The advice to our training group was always investigate internally if there is a problem, and to bag up any deceased lambs and pass to the vet.
not pleasant for anyone concerned.

oaklandspigs



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 112
Location: East Sussex
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 12 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

MJ,

Thanks for that -really useful. I am due to go to an evening meeting on this in the next few days, and if I get anything extra useful, will post it here

Just found reference to a link to a useful site on another forum

http://www.warmwell.com/schmallenberg.html

BadgerFace



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 914
Location: Sussex
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 12 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A friend of mine in the Telegraph today, talking of her experiences so far with the virus. Also on Countryfile 7pm this evening.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/farming/9105880/Fears-of-catastrophe-as-new-virus-hits-farms.html

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 23559
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 12 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

nasty ,hoofs crossed for all with vunerable critters

oaklandspigs



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 112
Location: East Sussex
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 12 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Key points from the meeting I went to run by Westpoint Vets with ADAS and the NFU

In the audience of 100 or so, of the 6 farmers that had started lambing 5 had deformed lambs. Rate was 5-15%.

There is a large amount of re-absorbsion from data from those that scanned – singles coming up empty, and twins only having singles – anything up to 10%

Lambs born can be stillborn, can be deformed with locked joints making it very hard for the sheep to lamb – one person said she was regularly breaking lamb legs inside the sheep to get out dead deformed lambs so as to save the sheep.

There are also what are called “silly lambs” – born live but with little brain development, so die quite quickly.

Any like the above can be sent free to AHVLA for SBV analysis (they only test for that, they won’t tell you about anything else unless you pay), and are likely to only do the first positive one, then they are not asking for more. As cases build this may stop altogether.

All you can do for this year’s lamb crop is cope.

As for future, all the following needs a big caveat – this is an early disease, with little history, however bluetongue spread (also by midges) gives us good data from past, and some of Europe is months ahead of us in lamb cycles so have been through it. There is also excellent cross European co-operation and information sharing.
However the following is best guestimates from informed sources. So likely to be true, but not guaranteed!

For sheep, once infected they show no signs of illness, but have it for a couple of weeks. They then have developed strong immunity to it (potentially life long!). So once a sheep has had it, it should be ok.

For cattle, they show lots of symptoms that are common with other diseases, but last a couple of weeks, but similarly they then have developed strong immunity to it, and should the be ok. Some farms are seeing a month where their cattle herd show signs of being off colour as the disease works it way through the herd.

The issue is IF they get infected or have the virus during the first trimester of pregnancy. Before mating or after the first trimester and the offspring is not affected. (don’t know whether the young inherit the immunity, but if meat doesn’t matter, and for future breeding as long as they get it before mating, then they’ll be ok. So fro instance sheep that mated in October last year when midges were active are at high risk in the south.

Midges are the likely source of infection, and this is borne out by Defra’s modelling of midge vs. Wind and temperature that shows most danger area is where we are seeing the virus. Midges are active only at certain temperatures, and the likely period when they can affect is march to October, although that doesn’t mean you can relax on November the 1st!! Areas for this year are the south and east coasts where they were blown accross from Europe.

Parasite control of the flock/herd may reduce spread, but standard fly protection products (eg clic) don’t do midges, you need something like spot-on. However you are too late to help this year and see below may positively want to welcome it now, so consider this before using spot-on. If you use spot-on on a sheep, then it will kill the midge that bites it, but not before it has infected that sheep, and probably not before it has then infected several others of your flock – the poison takes up to a hour or so to work, so at best you might reduce, but would not protect.

A vaccine is 1-2 years away, and probably won’t be needed as by the time it gets here, all sheep and cattle should have got it (and got over it).

If you are in the south then your strategy is that for this seasons lambing, you will have what you have got now, so cannot do anything about it. If it proves that once infected you get a long period of immunity, and for sheep there are no side effects, then maybe you should hope that all your sheep get infected during this summer, and then they’ll have protection and next year you’ll be ok, as protected sheep don’t produce deformed/stillborn/silly lambs.

For cattle in the south, the same strategy might apply, hope that they get it, that you don't get too bad symptoms (eg milk reduction) which only lasts for two weeks in any case, and they get immunity for next year.

Those in the south will also need to consider whether they should buy in stock from the north, that will be naive to the disease (not have had it), and whether to do this earlier so that they might/should get the disease before going to ram/bull or AI.

For those outside the immediate area infected this year, it will depend on how quickly midges spread up north from infected south. If slowly, then you might get several years of uncertainty (there is no live test at the moment to see if stock has had it) as to whether your particular area has got it/your farm has got it. I did ask about deliberately infecting stock so that they get it and get over it – and this might be a possibility if vaccine doesn’t get here soon.

So that’s what I learnt. In a way you should hope that all the UK gets it this summer, and then with a long immunity the worry will disappear, although we might be vaccinating future breeding stock in their first lambing/calving season to give their young protection.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 23559
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 12 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

oh dear

horrible but it could be worse

germs are rather assertive

Mithril



Joined: 22 Jul 2011
Posts: 1705
Location: wessex
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 12 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Saw this on Country File yesterday - just awful

Melli-Jane



Joined: 09 Mar 2011
Posts: 264
Location: East Sussex
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 12 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thank you for a really detailed brief of your meeting, Oaklands.
I popped in on one of our lambing courses at the weekend and the information was pretty much identical. It was interesting to hear about the number of empty ewes post scanning. Its also interesting to note that where there are multiples, the ewe either has one and loses the second during term, or one is born deformed and the others are absolutely fine.
My goats are looking very imminent and with only 4 girls due this month I'm terrified (it seems pretty prevalent around us), my other girls aren't due until May onwards so i'm hoping that they will have missed the risk period having been served December onwards.

BadgerFace



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 914
Location: Sussex
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 12 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I started lambing my little Badger flock yesterday. First ewe produced a nice single ram lamb. This morning my second ewe lambed twins, ram lamb 100% fine, second ewe lamb born with twisted pasterns, over shot jaw and unable to straighten legs fully. Very perky little thing otherwise. Vet PTS and has now gone to VLA for PM.

On a more cheerful note, a pic of the little ram.

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