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SBV caution at Oban

A HIGHLAND cattle breeder has led the way in responsible livestock marketing, withdrawing from a high-profile sale after some of his herd tested positive for antibodies to the Schmallenberg virus.

Michael Poland's cattle were sold on his farm, following the Highland Cattle sale in Oban mart on Monday - and it seemed that buyers appreciated his cautious stance
Michael Poland's cattle were sold on his farm, following the Highland Cattle sale in Oban mart on Monday - and it seemed that buyers appreciated his cautious stance

Michael Poland, who runs the Mottistone Highland cattle fold, withdrew four of his animals from the Oban Highland Cattle sale this week after the positive tests, which indicated that his animals had been exposed to the disease at some point.

However, it was stressed this week that SBV has not yet been found moving infectiously in Scotland, and that Mr Poland's action was very much a 'cautious' approach.

There is no legal obligation on farmers to test for SBV prior to moving or selling their animals. However, Mr Poland has regular cause to move animals between his main farm on the Isle of Wight and his unit at Benderloch near Oban, and when pregnancy diagnosis of his herd revealed a larger than normal number of empty females, he agreed with his vet that the best idea would be to test for SBV.

(For the full story see The Scottish Farmer this week, February 16, 2013)

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