Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a virus that affects cattle, sheep and goats has been detected for the first time in Wales, the Welsh Government has confirmed.
SBV antibodies have been discovered in three cows and one calf. The virus produces fever, diarrhea and loss of milk production in adult cattle, though animals recover. It is thought to pose no risk to humans.
In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued an import alert placing additional restrictions on shipments of ruminant germplasm originating from the European Union (EU) and countries that are not formally part of the EU but that follow EU legislation. These restrictions were put into place to temporarily address the emergence of SBV in seven EU countries and believed to be distributed throughout other parts of Europe.
APHIS is negotiating new protocols with the EU that will incorporate additional risk mitigations for SBV and that will facilitate exports of germplasm collected in the future.