A NEW Schmallenberg vaccine - SBVvax - is now available from Merial Animal Health after receiving approval for use in sheep and cattle in the UK.

SBVvax is the only vaccine licensed for the prevention of viraemia in cattle and sheep.

Findlay MacBean, head of Merial's large animal business, said: "SBVvax will provide a cost-effective solution for producers who want to protect their flocks pre-tupping over the coming months.

"We also believe that it will be a useful tool for beef or dairy farmers bringing replacements into their herds and vaccinating cows prior to bulling."

Protection with SBVvax is provided by a single low-volume dose for sheep and two low-volume doses, three weeks apart for cattle.

The vaccine is licensed for use in non-pregnant animals from 2.5 months of age and onset of immunity has been demonstrated three weeks after the primary vaccination course.