Archive for April 2nd, 2012

Mysterious New Lamb Disease in Britain and Europe

posted by Maleekie Ambularie @ 23:16 PM
April 2, 2012

    Dr. Ad Versery:  I’ve been looking over the kids All Animal News Blog, and I think they have something about those mysterious lamb births in England and Europe.  Called the Schmallenberg Virus, it is moving swiftly across farms there.

Alastair Mackintosh of the National Farmers Union tells Cole Moreton of that this spreading virus ‘a ticking time bomb:’  “We don’t yet know the extent of the disease. We only find out the damage when sheep and cows give birth, and by then it’s too late.”

In Europe, farms have have lost half their lambs, while so far the loss in Britain has only been 20%.  A big problem is that ewes show no symptoms of the disease until the infected lamb is born.

Animal experts believe that the virus is spread by midges, insects that may have carried the virus across the Channel or North Sea last autumn.  But the actual source is unknown.  Officials are concerned that the virus will spread as the weather warms.

Presently there is no vaccine for this virus.  The disease gets its name from the German town, 70 miles east of Cologne, where it was first discovered.  It is not known if the virus can pass from animal to animal or from animal to humans.

Officials are already concerned about the effects this lamb disaster will have on national economies.  According to Moreton:  “Approximately 16 million lambs are born in Britain every year and sell at market for about £100 each. The effect of the disease on farms that are already struggling in the downturn could be severe.”

Mackintosh says that at the point that useless lamb births in England reach 50%, farmers will go out of business.   Moreover, this virus has spread to cows, goats and other farm animals, which could reduce and/or endanger milk yield.

Richard Gray, Science Correspondent for The Telegraph, says the virus causes animals “to abort late in their pregnancies, or has resulted in stillbirths.  While sheep show no symptoms, adult cows suffer fevers and diarrhea.

A bigger question is of course, how will ingesting meat from these diseased lambs affect people.  The Animal Health and veterinary Laboratories Agencies issued a statement about potential dangers to people:  “There is unlikely to be a risk to human health from Schmallenberg virus; but this is not yet certain.” But Gray insists that “virologists are conducting work to find out if it may cause any health problems in humans.”

Maleekie Ambularie:  Well we must remember to pray over the food we eat constantly.  Many verses in wholesale Christian Bibles admonish us to pray thusly:“Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6: 11).” Ephesians 5: 20 says “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  And the blood of Jesus is also our protection (Revelation 12: 11)!

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