Thursday, 9 January 2014

Schmallenberg Virus in Bovine Semen

We have never believed the official explanation for the arrival of Schmallenberg Virus to Britain.

The facts at the very beginning did not match the explanations.

Defra's veterinarians even got the geography of their own country round their necks in their rush to find an explanation that suited them.

You have to remember the motto of Britain's hapless government veterinarians for every incursion of animal and zoonotic disease into the British Isles:

"Blame someone else, preferably innocent."

That's not say that SBV does not travel in midges, merely it did not arrive in Britain in midges over the route stated.

That's a very different thing. You can find our objections from the beginning in the archives here (use the search box above).

Anyway, it looks like SBV can travel in bovine semen.

Britain cannot and does not control the movement of germplasm from EU countries at the borders. It relies on veterinary certification, and we all know that veterinary practice is often to sign anything and everything put under their noses recklessly without much regard to the consequences.

Now this suggests a much more likely route!

"…In conclusion, we demonstrated that SBV RNA-positive bovine semen could contain infectious SBV. However, the actual risk for transmission of SBV by insemination of dams with SBV-containing semen
remains to be evaluated. Although SBV infection of the developing embryo is unlikely, venereal transmission would lead at worst to viremia of the dam, facilitating vector transmission. To prevent venereal SBV transmission, sensitive PCR testing of semen batches from SBV-infected bulls is the method of choice (1,10)."