AFBI Cattle Health Scheme - testing and sampling guidelines

Part of: AFBI Cattle Health Scheme

Area of Expertise:

Guidelines for testing and sampling

Herd sampling requirements:

follow the links below to view a summary of the sampling requirements

Full details are given in the Technical document.
CHeCS Technical Document


  • Biosecurity is an important part of all except the monitoring program, to prevent accidental introduction of infection into herds.
  • General guidelines are given in the Biosecurity Code for Northern Ireland Farms (DARD 2004).
  • The CHeCS technical document gives full details of the rules of the scheme, including the biosecurity requirements
  • Accredited status is specific to each disease
  • The main requirements relate to:
  1. Double fencing (3m) at boundaries for BVD and IBR
  2. Isolation facility required for quarantine procedures for:
  3. The addition of bought cattle (from herds of lower status)
  4. The reintroduction of cattle that have had contact with non-accredited cattle requires a dedicated building or separate paddock.
  5. Test on farm of origin and 28 days post-arrival, or:
  6. Test on arrival and 28 days later (4 months for Johne’s result)
  • Testing of sick cattle that may have a disease that is the target of a scheme
  • For Johne’s/Leptospirosis, preferable to use mains water or have no cattle/sheep grazing upstream
  • Sheep and cattle ideally should not graze together (2 month interval for Leptospirosis before cattle follow sheep)
  • Farm equipment, transport, handling facilities etc disinfected before use if shared with non-health scheme cattle/herds
  • Surgical equipment sterilized between herds
  • No sharing of needles between herds
  • Delivery and pickup points isolated from other cattle
  • Good hygiene/disinfection of visitors
  • Caution when buying feed and bedding to avoid introduction of infection
  • Feed and bedding protected from vermin
  • Colostrum from lower status herds not used