Photo: Toby Talbot/Scanpix.

New virus threatens sheep and cattle

A new virus, Schmallenberg virus, has been found in sheep and cattle in Sweden. The virus, which comes from Germany, can lead to malformed foetuses in sheep, goats and cattle, and studies show that the infection is widespread.

The infection does not spread to people and it is safe to drink milk or eat meat from animals that have had the infection.

The virus was first detected in Schmallenberg in Germany at the end of last year and was also found in Holland and Belgium.

Swedish Radio news reports that the infection will not lead to any restrictions imposed by the Board of Agriculture and farmers will be able to move their animals as usual.

"The infection has spread almost the entire length of Sweden and has also been found in Norway, Finland and Denmark, so it is likely that we will have the disease for at least several years", says veterinarian Kristina Mieziewska, according to a press release from the National Veterinary Institute.

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