A new Schmallenberg vaccine – SBVvax – is now available from Merial Animal Health after receiving approval for use in sheep and cattle in the UK. SBVvax is the only vaccine licensed for the prevention of viraemia in both cattle and sheep.

Findlay MacBean, Merial’s Head of Large Animal Business, said: “SBVvax will provide a cost-effective solution for those producers who want to protect their flocks pre-tupping over the coming months. We also believe that it will be a useful tool for beef or dairy farmers bringing replacements into their herds and vaccinating cows prior to bulling.”

Protection from Schmallenberg with SBVvax is provided by a single low-volume dose for sheep and two low-volume doses, three weeks apart for cattle. The vaccine is licensed for use in non- pregnant animals from 2.5 months of age and onset of immunity has been demonstrated 3 weeks after the primary vaccination course.

The impact of the virus is most evident in new born animals, where malformation or still birth is common. Death of ewes and cattle after birth and reduction in fertility through abortions and early reabsorption has also been observed.

Farmers should consult their vet for information about vaccinating their flock or herd with SBVvax.