Sunday, 5 February 2012

Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) and live movements

A pretty sensible article on Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) from Northern Ireland.

At least they recognise the possibility of a risk from imported live animals.

Incidentally, the figures for live imports into Russia from the EU, all species, are massive. They were prudent to introduce a ban pending much more information on the risks. Northern Ireland, as part of United Kingdom and therefore part of the EU, can't do that.

Coupled with antibiotic resistance, livestock movements are the motor of change for zoonotic disease dangerous to both humans and animals.

A live trade that hardly existed has suddenly exploded worldwide in recent years. Figures are available from every government, often in complex spread sheets, but very little use is made of them by media.

One gets the feeling that most governments do not wish to draw attention to expanding live trades. Once a rare event for expensive prestige breeding stock, international movements are now routine over long distances for large numbers of low value beasts.

The veterinarians advised governments that they could handle the risks, when they couldn't and live trade got incorporated into "difficult to renegotiate" trading treaties.

It is not surprising we have new diseases and new epidemics - all the conditions are there, fuelled by greed, veterinary stubbornness and wishful thinking. The veterinarians then dissemble to evade detection as bad advisers to governments.

The authorities are not introducing compulsory notification and live animal trade bans fast enough. They are ten steps behind events, bucketing downhill without brakes.

The full article is here

Published on Sunday 5 February 2012 09:00

AS Bluetongue Virus begins to fade from the memory of farmers in Northern Ireland another disease of ruminants has emerged to take its place. Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) is named after the town in Germany where it was first discovered. The virus has since spread from Germany to the Netherlands, Belgium, England and most recently France...