Keep up to date with the latest news delivered direct to your Inbox.
A Quarter of Some Cornish Flocks Wiped Out by Disease
7:01am 8th January 2013
Pirate FM has learnt a quarter of lambs from some Cornish flocks have been infected with a virus that can kill newborns in seconds.
It is understood almost sixty cases of Schmallenberg have been confirmed in the early lambing season.
It is thought to have been carried into the Duchy by midges.
Ian Johnson speaks for the NFU in Cornwall. He said: "It's like Russian roulette. It's like having a big black cloud hanging over you. You don't know whether you've got the problem until the ewes give birth to the lambs. They're horribly deformed, they're not viable, they can't feed and, if they're not already dead, they have to be destroyed as soon as they're born.
"At a time when there should be new life and hope and spring in the fields, after the worst year in living memory for practically every farmer, it's a terrible big black cloud to be hanging over farms."
Launceston vet Tim Bebbington is urging farmers to report potential cases to increase pressure on officials to release a vaccine: "We do have a vaccine which has been developed which has shown good protection in the trials it has been through. That vaccine is in for its official licence, which takes some time.
"Lambing is the hardest time for the sheep farmer. They can't afford losses at this level which really they can do nothing about. We believe it is borne by midges. We can't control where midges fly and who they bite so there is no control over the spread of the disease."7:01am 8th January 2013
Share This StoryTweet
WATCH: The Weird Moment Thousands Of Birds Descend On A Cornish Village
It looks like something out of a horror film - but locals were horrified by the mess it left...
WATCH: Cornish Beach Named Second Best In UK
In fact, the Duchy has three in the top 10!
Cornwall Man Accused Of Child Murder
Cornwall News: Matthew Scully-Hicks denies killing adoptive daughter
Squatters braced for eviction over Buckingham Palace 'security risk'
National News: Squatters in a seven-storey building just metres away from Buckingham Palace are preparing for the prospect of eviction after being branded a possible risk to the Queen's security.
Will practice make perfect for La La Land star?
Showbiz News: La La Land actor Ryan Gosling says he had two choices when making the Oscar nominated movie - learn to play piano or "shatter the dreams" of director Damien Chazelle.
French prosecutors launch judicial inquiry into Francois Fillon 'fake jobs' claims
World News: French prosecutors have opened a judicial inquiry into claims Francois Fillon gave his wife a "fake job".
Rory McIlroy says game of golf with Donald Trump not 'an endorsement'
Sports News: Rory McIlroy has defended his decision to play golf with Donald Trump after a flood of criticism and abuse, saying it "was, quite simply, a round of golf".
Men and women 'need different things' to keep friendships alive
Strange News: Your ability to keep long-distance friendships alive may depend on your gender, according to a new study.