Schmallenberg Virus in England, Sheep and Cows in Danger
In England, experts have detected the outbreak of Schmallenberg virus all around. This lethal virus tends to directly hit cows and sheep with severe deformities and diseases. According to experts, it is expected to spread with a fast pace throughout the year.
As many as 83 farms in England have already been detected with this virus as thousands of newborn lambs have either died, or have born with staid deformities such as fused limbs, misshapen heads and twisted necks.
Yesterday, it has been claimed by experts that it seems this summer will also be under influence of the virus. In fact, there is a possibility that it could spread athwart in the whole country and would affect the next breeding season as well.
In 2007, Britain was hit by bluetongue virus that caused devastation during that time and according to Professor Peter Mertens, of the Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright in Surrey, the spread of the virus seems to be much faster than believed.
Both these virus have few similarities: both of them spreads by biting midges. But then, bluetongue affected a fewer animals only and before scattering nationwide, it stayed in the south east area only for several months.
It is just the beginning of lambing season, and this virus has brought a hindrance in farmers' occupation. This is the reason why they have named this outbreak a potential catastrophe. Also, they are worried about experiencing the full impact of the outbreak in coming weeks.
Affecting a large number of farms in France, Germany and Holland, Schmallenberg virus has killed around 30% of lambs at most of the farms.
The adult cattle are also affected by the virus. For the next few months, there is no calving season and therefore the effect on calves will not be known till then.
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