Completing your 2021 Whole Herd Test for Irish Johne’s Control Programme

All herds in the Johne’s programme in 2021 are required to complete a whole herd test, using milk or blood samples.

The deadline for completing your 2021 whole herd test, if it was started in 2021, has been extended to 31st January 2022.  Samples must be received by the testing laboratory by that date.

You may have already done some testing.  You must complete a whole herd test to be eligible for payment of herd testing assistance from your milk processor.

Make sure that you account for all animals on your farm aged two years or more, on the day when testing started for the year. These are referred to as ’eligible animals’.

You can easily use your ICBF Johne’s screen click here to list animals to be tested, or if you’re unsure how to do this, ask the veterinary practitioner who you nominated for the Johne’s programme.

On your ICBF Johne’s screen:

  • Refer to ‘Whole herd test completed?’ on the left of the screen.
  • If this shows ‘Not Yet Complete’ in red, click on the text to display a bar-chart at the bottom of the screen of eligible animals tested and eligible animals not tested.
  • You can then click on any bar of the chart to list the relevant animals.


  • It is best to start and complete the whole herd test within 30 days, to ensure untested animals are not culled or die before being tested, and so that the herd’s status is assessed as a whole herd at a point in time.
  • Bulls – Test using a blood sample, you will need to arrange with your veterinary practitioner.
  • Dry or sick cows – Use a blood sample if they missed milk testing and are not getting back into milk, or use a milk sample.
  • Un-calved 2 year-old heifers – If they missed milk testing, use a blood sample, or you can use a milk sample if they’ve since calved.
  • Cull cows – These must be tested if they are on your farm when you start your testing for the year. Use a blood sample if animals are not going back into the milking herd. For future years, plan to remove them from your farm before you start Johne’s disease milk testing or include them in the testing.
  • Beef breeding herd – These animals ordinarily should be included in the testing. In a special case where the beef breeding herd is kept on a separate farm to the dairy herd but remains in the same herd number, contact AHI (including the animal ID numbers of all animals in the beef breeding herd) seeking an exemption for these animals.
  • Beef non-breeding unit – This does not apply to cull cows. Only non-breeding beef animals such as bullocks can be exempted from testing. To seek exemption, complete the Exemption Form (Non-breeding Cattle) here and get your veterinary practitioner to sign the form and return to AHI.
  • Dead animals – complete the Exemption Form (Cattle that Left Herd) here and submit it to AHI.

For further information, contact:

  • Your approved veterinary practitioner in the Johne’s programme
  • The IJCP Herdowner Flowchart click here