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New livestock disease: farmers on alert

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture is hoping the Irish sea will come to the defence of Manx livestock after a new disease was discovered in the United Kingdom.

Schmallenberg virus was first found in Germany in November, and around 30 cases have now been discovered in Southeast England.

Midges are thought to be responsible for the illness, which produces deformed young in sheep, goats and cattle.

Government veterinary officer Richard Ashworth hopes the sea will prove to be a barrier to the midges, but says if there are any cases they are more likely to show up at this time of year:

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