POWYS farmers are being urged to report any suspected cases of a disease which has caused birth defects and miscarriages in livestock after it was identified in Wales for the first time.

The Schmallenberg virus has been identified on over 275 farms in England but it has now been detected in three cows and one calf on a farm in Ceredigion. 

Now Powys County Council's Trading Standards Service is urging livestock farms to be vigilant and report any suspected cases to their veterinary surgeon.

The virus has been associated with brief mild/moderate disease (milk drop, pyrexia, diarrhoea) in adult cattle and late abortion or birth defects in newborn cattle, sheep and goats.

Ken Yorston, the council's Trading Standards Manager, said: "Although the Schmallenberg virus is not a notifiable disease, we encourage animal keepers in the county to inform their veterinary surgeon if they suspect such cases."

For more information on the virus then visit www.defra.gov.uk