Farmers alerted to Schmallenberg Virus

THE Ulster Farmers’ Union are calling on Coleraine farmers to remain vigilant and cautious following confirmation that the Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) has been found in a calf in Co Down and also in Co Cork this week.

UFU President Harry Sinclair said; “We are disappointed that the Schmallenberg virus has made its way to Northern Ireland. SBV is a non-notifiable virus, which does not have any trade implications and poses no threat to human health. The real concern for farmers is the possible losses on farm due to an increase in foetal mortality.

“The UFU are appealing to all farmers to stay vigilant and report any suspected cases of the virus.

“We are also urging farmers to send animals that have shown clinical signs of the virus to AFBI for post-mortem testing. These tests will be free of charge.

“The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have given reassurance that they will continue to monitor SBV closely and are in the process of arranging an urgent meeting with UFU and other industry stakeholders to discuss the next course of action regarding the virus.”