94 French farms struck by new 'Schmallenberg' virus

Feb 14, 2012

Ninety-four farms in northern France have been hit by a novel virus, first uncovered in Germany last year, that strikes cattle, sheep and goats, a French research agency reported on Tuesday.

The Schmallenberg virus, named after the town in Germany where it first surfaced, causes diarrhoea and falling milk production in cattle and foetal defects in lambs, calves and kids, the Centre for International Cooperation in Research (Cirad) said.

In addition to France and Germany, cases have also occurred in Belgium, Britain and the Netherlands, it said.

The virus is probably transmitted by midges or mosquitoes and may have spread "widely" last summer before it was detected, Cirad said.

On February 1, the Friedrich Loeffler Federal Research Institute of Animal Health that 186 farms in Germany had been hit, up from 51 five days earlier.

As of January 26, 76 farms in the Netherlands had been affected.

The Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), which monitors cross-border trade in , said it was closely following events.

The virus is not a "listed disease," the OIE told AFP, referring to diseases that require member-states to notify the agency whenever they detect an outbreak.

However, "countries have been very proactive and transparent in notifying the OIE of the appearance of the Schmallenberg virus on their territories. and control has proven to work very well," it said.

"The OIE is monitoring the situation very closely and has decided to convene a group of experts this week to review the current knowledge."

Explore further: Study reveals drivers of Western consumers' readiness to eat insects

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New disease hits Dutch, German livestock

Jan 26, 2012

A new livestock disease causing deformities at birth has been detected in at least five European countries, including the Netherlands and Germany, a Dutch agriculture ministry spokesman said Thursday.

Virus has bird, pig, human components: farm trade watchdog

Apr 27, 2009

The top agency for health in farm animals on Monday said Mexico's outbreak of deadly influenza was unleashed by a pathogen mixed from bird, human and hog viruses and branded the term "swine flu" as wrong and harmful to pig ...

Climate change amplifying animal disease

May 25, 2009

Climate change is widening viral disease among farm animals, expanding the spread of some microbes that are also a known risk to humans, the world's top agency for animal health said on Monday.

World first: Cattle plague is declared eradicated

May 25, 2011

World farm monitors on Wednesday declared a cattle-killing virus that has been a curse through the ages had been wiped out, the first time an animal disease has been eradicated in human history.

Recommended for you

Team defines new biodiversity metric

20 hours ago

To understand how the repeated climatic shifts over the last 120,000 years may have influenced today's patterns of genetic diversity, a team of researchers led by City College of New York biologist Dr. Ana ...

Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

Aug 29, 2014

The Natural History Museum of Denmark recently discovered a unique gift from one of the greatest-ever scientists. In 1854, Charles Darwin – father of the theory of evolution – sent a gift to his Danish ...

User comments : 0