Republic of Ireland BVD Eradication Programme

Part of: Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)

Area of Expertise:

Republic of Ireland BVD Eradication Programme - Testing at AFBI

How does Republic of Ireland BVD Eradication programme work? 

Details of the National BVD eradication programme for the Republic of Ireland are currently being presented in information meetings, articles in the farming press and on different websites (

The programme has finished the voluntary phase started in January 2012 and has now commenced the compulsory phase as of 1st January 2013. The eradication programme consists of three years of tissue tag testing of calves followed by three years of serological surveillance of the herds (bulk milk antibody testing or targeted serological testing).

All calves born in the herd, including stillbirths, must be sampled by the herd owner no later than 20 days after birth with the tissue sample enabled official tags. Samples should be sent to the lab within 7 days of sampling. If a persistently infected animal is identified follow up testing will be carried out, which at minimum includes the testing of the dam and if positive any other offspring of the dam that are still on farm.

Results are sent out from the laboratory to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) database which currently make them available to the farmer and their vets along with any follow-up actions.


Key elements of the legislation include:

  • Requirement to test all calves born from 1st January 2013 onwards
  • Ban on sale of calves without a negative result
  • Follow-up testing where PIs (persistently infected animals) are identified
  • Calves imported into the state after 1st January 2013 must be tested for BVD within 20 days

Testing at AFBI - Questions & Answers

How much does it cost?

Please contact the lab to get the most updated price.

Could I pay in advance?

If you want to avoid having to send a cheque every time that you send a sample, now you can set up an account with us and send some money in advance. Only tests that are carried out will be deducted from your account. A special price is also available for account holders.

How do I send samples?

Samples must be placed in a sealable bag (such as a freezer bag). This bag should be then placed inside a larger envelope and the following should be written on the envelope:

Lab phone number: +44 (0)28 9052 5632

Herd Number:

BVD Testing
Stoney Road
Belfast BT4 3SD

BVD Tag Test - Exempt Animal Specimen

A cheque must be included to cover the expense of the testing, unless you have set up an account with the lab. Please remember to write your VAT number in the back of the cheque.

If blood samples are sent to AFBI, can those results be count for the BVD eradication scheme?

Yes, AFBI is a designated laboratory and can send the results of any of the BVD tests performed in the laboratory to ICBF to be recorded.

In order to send historical results (results prior to 1st January 2013), an authorisation form should be sent to AFBI by post, email or fax: ICBF Data Release Form

BVD Testing
Stoney Road
Belfast BT4 3SD

Phone: +44(0)28 9052 5632

Since 1st January 2013, BVD had become a notifiable disease in The Republic of Ireland and laboratories must transfer all BVD virus test results (positive and negative; tissue and blood) to the ICBF database. From now on, samples submitted for virus testing without the corresponding official ID number will not be processed unless the laboratory is able to obtain and verify this information.

How long will it take for the samples to be tested?

Results will be available in 7-10 working days after receipt of the samples.

Can I get a paper report?

Results will be reported to the ICBF database and a text will be sent to your mobile phone every time results are loaded.

Could my Vet get a report?

Vets will be able to see your results if you give the practice access to your herd data in ICBF. If samples have been sent directly from your vet (i.e. blood samples), your vet will receive a copy of the results directly from us (by email or fax) and you will be invoiced through your veterinary practice.