Sheep disease ‘highly likely’ to be in island
Tuesday 19th March 2013, 5:00PM GMT.
SHEEP farmers are looking at ways to reduce the risk locally of their animals contracting Schmallenberg virus.
The livestock disease, which emerged last year, has yet to be confirmed in the island, but it remained a concern after suspected cases were reported in Jersey.
States vet David Chamberlain believed it was ‘highly likely’ that the virus had infected animals in the Bailiwick.
Farmer Tony Falla, who has been breeding sheep for 20 years, said there was little that could be done until a vaccine was introduced for the virus, which causes severe birth deformities in lambs.
‘We have to just try and reduce our risks,’ said Mr Falla. ‘The theory is that this is spread through midges and so by putting a ram in to breed in October, the sheep are pregnant by November and at that time the number of midges around has decreased a lot.
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