Cheaper BVD test option for 47,083 herds

Herdowners can use the website to see if all their animals have a direct or indirect negative BVD status — which could entitle them to cheaper BVD testing.

Glanbia has advised members they can avail of BVD testing via Enfer Laboratories of €2.60 if they have negative herd status (NHS), compared to €3.40 in non-NHS herds.

As of January 13, 58% of dairy herds (10,223) and 60% of beef herds (36,860) nationally have attained NHS status.

Conditions to qualify for negative herd status are:

  • Completion of at least three years of tissue tag testing on calves born into the herd in each of these three years.
  • Existence of a negative BVD status for every animal currently in the herd (on the basis of either ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’ results).
  • Absence in the 12 months preceding acquisition of NHS of any animal(s) deemed persistently infected with BVD.

The herdowner’s BVD dashboard on shows the status of all animals.

Any animals without a negative status need to be tested in order to achieve NHS.

This year, the Department of Agriculture will fund investigations by trained vets into BVD breakdowns.

Details on how to access this service are available from Animal Health Ireland (

All BVD-infected calves should be culled as soon as possible when identified by testing (within seven weeks to comply with Beef Data Genomics Programme conditions).

All herds where these calves are retained more than seven weeks will be placed under restriction by the Department of Agriculture, preventing movement in and out (with the exception of the infected animals going to slaughter), and their neighbours and veterinary practitioners will be notified of the increased risk of infection to their herds.

However, ICMSA Deputy President Pat McCormack said the Department of Agriculture has still not implemented the policy of informing neighbours where BVD-infected animals are retained in herds, and this has caused confusion and annoyance among compliant farmers.

Financial supports of €70-140 per infected calf are available for disposal within seven weeks.

The payment varies from dairy herds (females only) to beef herds, and is higher for dosposal within five weeks.


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