A TENTH case of the Schmallenberg virus, which causes birth defects in livestock, has been identified on the Isle of Wight.
Four farming animals — one cattle and three sheep — were pregnant and birth defects were identified in the foetuses, while six other cattle showed the virus in their blood.
There have been 976 cases of Schmallenberg nationally, with 89 recorded in Devon, 58 in Cornwall, 55 in East Sussex and 50 in Cheshire.
As previously reported, the virus affects pregnant sheep, cows and goats and is spread by biting insects.
According to the government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) it is believed to have blown across The Channel from Europe via midges and is unlikely to cause illness in humans.
Caroline Knox, chair of the Isle of Wight National Farmers' Union (NFU) said her advice to farmers was to keep animals indoors during high risk periods.
She added: "We will see more when lambing begins. My advice would be to spread the lambing, so when there are midges, not all animals are in the vulnerable stage at the same time.
"Nationally it is a low impact disease, 0.4 per cent of sheep herds have been affected and 0.5 per cent of cattle have been affected. The virus is not a risk for members of the public.
"If an animal has had the virus before, it will build up a natural immunity to it so it won't get it again. Farmers should continue to report cases and have tests taken as it can be mistaken for other viruses."