VETS have found signs that the midge-borne Schmallenberg Virus (SBV), which is capable of causing deformities in calves and lambs, had been circulating in Dumfries and Galloway last autumn.

The results have been revealed by SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, which has been monitoring bulk milk samples from 50 dairy herds across the country throughout the autumn.

George Caldow, head of SAC Consulting Veterinary Services cautioned: "The results of the study so far can only act as a guide, but do suggest that there has been some active transmission of the SBV virus in Dumfries and Galloway in the autumn.

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"This could potentially lead to the birth of deformed lambs and calves. However, in other areas of the country, particularly north of the Central Belt, we expect the disease risk to be much lower."

Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 1,604 prime hoggs at Ayr yesterday to a top of £94 per head and 200p per kg to average 175.7p (-14.8p on the week).

There were also 539 cast sheep forward when heavy ewes sold to £134.50 for a pen of Texels and averaging £69.92, while light/export-type ewes peaked at £54.50 for Blackfaces and levelled at £38.43.

Harrison & Hetherington Ltd sold 18 prime heifers in St Boswells yesterday to a top of 259p per kg and an average of 235p (+9p), while 10 prime bullocks peaked at 239p and levelled at 220p (-2p).

In the rough ring 49 beef cows sold to 187p and averaged 139p (+15p).

The firm also sold 994 prime hoggs to a top of £103 and 257.5p to average 173p (no comparison).

A smaller show of 244 cast sheep saw heavy ewes sell to £101 for Suffolks and average £84, while light ewes peaked at £80 for Cheviots and levelled at £39.

Lawrie & Symington Ltd sold 1658 prime hoggs in Lanark yesterday to a top of £103 and 211.4p to average 174.8p (-16p).

There were also 111 heavy cast ewes that sold to £143.50 for a Texel and averaged £79.98, while 354 light ewes peaked at £58.11 for Cheviots and levelled at £42.11.

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold 10 cast beef cows in Dumfries yesterday to a top of 121p and an average of 103p, while 33 cast dairy cows peaked at 112p and levelled at 85p.

There were also 905 prime hoggs that sold to £93.50 and 198p to average 178p (-10.8p).

A small show of 166 cast sheep saw heavy ewes sell to £152.50 for a Texel and average £75, while light ewes peaked at £43,50 for Cheviots and levelled at £29.