Anna Hill finds out how farmers in East Sussex are coping with the arrival of a new livestock disease, the Schmallenberg virus.
Anna Hill visits two farmers in East Sussex to find out about the impact of the Schmallenberg virus. The disease, which causes serious deformities and stillbirths in sheep and cattle, was first identified in Germany last year. Scientists believe the disease is spread by midges, and it emerged in southern England during January. More than 150 farms in England have now seen the Schmallenberg virus. East Sussex is one of the most badly affected areas. Being so close to the continent, where there have been more than 2,000 cases, farmers in East Sussex are on the front line for infected midges having blown in. Anna meets pedigree South Down sheep breeder Mark Littmoden, whose lambing has been marred by the disease. A few miles down the road, Justin Harmer is waiting anxiously to see if it will show up in his pedigree Sussex cattle, once spring calving gathers pace. As Justin says, it's "all in the lap of the gods".
Presenter: Anna Hill
Producer: Sarah Swadling.
- Sun 18 Mar 2012 06:35