30th October, 2012
President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association, Gabriel Gilmartin, has expressed concern at the confirmation today of the presence of the Schmallenberg virus in a bovine foetus in Co. Cork.
Mr. Gilmartin said, “It is very disappointing that the disease has turned up in Ireland. It is important to note that the virus does not present any danger to human health, nor does it have any food safety implications, so there is no need for concern among consumers and the general public.”
“However, there is a real concern that farmers may face an increase in the number of abortions in cows and sheep, which is distressing and may have a financial impact. I would urge all farmers to be extremely vigilant, and also to be cautious if they are importing any livestock, as the virus has been identified in 10 countries across Europe to date,” concluded Mr. Gilmartin.