27th February, 2012
ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin has advised farmers to remain on high alert for symptoms of Schmallenberg virus, particularly as sheep farmers face into the peak time for lambing. He also said that farmers need to think “long and hard” about importing any livestock at this time until a fuller picture emerges on the newly discovered virus.
“The impact of the virus has been most pronounced in sheep flocks along the east coast of Britain, with symptoms such as dead or deformed lambs being born to apparently healthy ewes. So far, it is understood that the disease has been transmitted by midges blown across the channel from mainland Europe and there are reasonable grounds for hoping that it won’t reach Ireland. Nonetheless, caution is advised and farmers should report anything unusual to their vet.”