Climate change is raising the risk of diseases such as Schmallenberg in the UK and northern Europe, say scientists.
Schmallenberg virus affects sheep and cattle, and is probably carried by midges. It was identified in Germany last year, and in the UK in January.
Until 1990, Europe’s midge-borne viral diseases were found only in Spain and Portugal; but two have emerged within the last six years in northern Europe.
Experts say the path of Schmallenberg is currently impossible to predict.
Schmallenberg virus - named after the German town where it was first identified - causes fever and diarrhoea in adult animals, but they recover.
However, infection during a critical stage of pregnancy leads to lambs and calves being born with deformation of limbs, spine or brain. Many are stillborn.
Currently it has been found on 83 farms in the UK, mainly in the southeast.
Of course, it’s impossible to say for certain right now that the arrival of Schmallenberg in Britain is definitely linked to climate change. It might just be coincidence.
But those coincidences just keep coming.