Cornwall should escape 'the worst' of Schmallenberg Virus

Cornwall should escape "the worst" of a virus causing birth defects in sheep, cattle and goats, a vet has said.

The livestock disease called Schmallenberg Virus is thought to be spread by midges, mosquitoes and ticks.

Cornwall has only had one confirmed case although Defra has named the county as a 'high risk'.

President elect of the British Veterinary Association, Peter Harlech-Jones, said the early lambing season has prevented a serious outbreak.

"The meteorological society has shown a plume of midges came across from France during late September, early October.

"The fact that we haven't seen many other cases in Cornwall may mean that with lambing having taken place earlier, you have missed the worst of it," he said.

Schmallenberg Virus first emerged in the Netherlands and Germany last year.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has suggested there is a low risk to public health.

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