The Schmallenberg Virus has been discovered in lambs in Finland for the first time.
Finnish food safety authority Evira said that discovery of the disease was not a surprise, because antibody testing had suggested the virus spread into Finland in summer and autumn 2012.
The virus was confirmed in three deformed lambs, which were from the same flock and born at the end of December. Evira said the ewes had probably been infected with the virus in the latter stages of pregnancy and predicted that more deformed lambs would be seen in the next few months, with deformed cattle likely to be born between March and May.
"It is not known at present whether or not the virus is capable of overwintering in Finland. It is likely that midges carrying the virus will continue to arrive in Finland, carried by southerly and south-westerly winds," it added.