Schmallenberg Virus (Sbv)

Schmallenberg Virus affects ruminant animals and is spread between animals by biting mid-animals and from mother to offspring via the placenta. Direct animal-to-animal transmission is considered unlikely.


Since 2011, SBV has been identified as the cause of congenital deformities or abortion in lambs and calves throughout Europe, with the number of cases varying over different years.


Adult sheep with SBV generally do not show any signs of clinical disease.

Lambs affected are often born with fixed, inflexible joints, a twisted neck or spine, a domed skull and a short jaw.

Some animals are born with a normal appearance but have abnormalities with their nervous system and exhibit signs such as inability to suck, blindness and seizures.

Other diseases or toxins may cause these signs, so discuss any suspected cases with your vet.

It is possible that one lamb from a multiple birth can be affected and the other lamb/s can be normal.


A vaccine against SBV has been licensed for use in the UK. The recommendation for sheep is to give the sheep a single dose before shedding. Discuss the use of the vaccine with your veterinarian.

Use of the information/advice in this guide is at your own risk. The Farmow and its employees do not warrant or make any representation regarding the use, or results of the use, of the information contained herein as regards to its correctness, accuracy, reliability, currency or otherwise. The entire risk of the implementation of the information/ advice which has been provided to you is assumed by you. All liability or responsibility to any person using the information/advice is expressly disclaimed by the Farmow and its employees.