A new virus detected in Europe that causes deformities so severe in new born calves and lambs that they die within seconds is worrying farmers here.

Federated Farmers fear the Schmallenberg virus could be potentially disastrous for New Zealand.

But MAF Director of Animal and Animal Products Standards Matthew Stone says the virus is spread by a certain type of fly that we don't have in New New Zealand.

He says even if we were to get one or two cases by what ever means, the likelihood of further transmission in New Zealand is almost zero.


Dr Stone says MAF maintains ongoing controls on aircraft and ship arrivals to manage the risk of insects arriving and establishing in New Zealand.