Deformed lambs born throughout Netherlands
Multiple sheep farmers throughout the Netherlands reported malformations in lambs born over the past weeks. Several cases of congenital abnormalities were also reported, agricultural organization LTO Nederland said to RTL Nieuws.
Abnormalities and deformations include things like lambs born with crooked legs, turned necks, hunchbacks, and abnormalities of the nervous system.
In some cases the Schmallenberg virus was diagnosed. The virus causes disease and birth defects in cattle, sheep and goats. An LTO spokesperson could not tell the broadcaster exactly how many reports of this virus there were.
The virus was first detected in northwestern Europe in 2011. Since then the virus was diagnosed multiple times in lambs with congenital abnormalities, but mainly incidentally or on a small scale, according to RTL. The virus is transmitted by biting insects.
The cadavers of the deformed lambs will be pathologically examined, at the advice of the animal health service GD.