Schmallenberg Virus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th March 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Masham of Ilton Baroness Masham of Ilton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the spread of Schmallenberg virus.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) are continually assessing the spread of Schmallenberg virus (SBV). Principally, APHA are analysing laboratory results from cattle and sheep samples submitted to the network of APHA Veterinary Investigation Centres and non-APHA partner post-mortem examination providers. This information is published, and updated fortnightly, on the APHA Vet Gateway website.

A summary of this information can be seen in the tables below.

The total number of SBV-affected sheep flocks that have been diagnosed by APHA in England and Wales during winter 2016/17. There have been no recorded cases in Scotland to date.

Country

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017 (up to 22nd)

Total

England

7

41

13

61

Wales

2

10

2

14

Total

8

51

15

75

Source: APHA

The total number of SBV-affected cattle herds flocks that have been diagnosed by APHA in England during winter 2016/17. There have been no recorded cases in Wales and Scotland to date.

Country

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017 (up to 22nd)

Total

England

0

1

1

2

Total

0

1

1

2

Source: APHA

APHA are continually working with both industry and the veterinary profession in Great Britain to improve the evidence base to help further assess the spread of SBV. The sheep and cattle sectors are using media channels to raise awareness of the disease to encourage farmers to discuss suspect SBV cases with their vet. APHA are supporting any subsequent testing.

In addition, APHA’s Cattle Expert Group and Small Ruminant Expert Group are working with their sectors and counterparts in other European countries, who have also seen a rise in cases, to gather, share and analyse information, including any early warning clinical signs.

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