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Lambing season to reveal Schmallenberg disease extent

UK sheep farmers are preparing for the full lambing season to get underway, but up and down the country there is anxiety as they wait to see whether their flocks have been infected by Schmallenberg disease.

This is a virus which can result in congenital disorders and stillbirths when infection takes place during the early stage of pregnancy.

Thought to be spread by midge bites the disease, which was discovered in the German town of Schmallenberg in November 2011, has moved rapidly to many European countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK.

Jim Reed reports for Newsnight on the threat posed by the disease and what can be done.

  • 28 Feb 2013
  • From the section UK