Newborn beef calf with its mother

BVD Key Messages 2024

The Irish BVDV eradication programme has made significant progress in reducing the prevalence of virus positive animals. At the end of 2023:

  • 96.1% of breeding herds and 97.4% of all herds have Negative Herd Status (NHS) and 0.39% of breeding herds and 0.23% of all herds had positive results in 2023.
  • 99.6% of bovine animals have a negative BVD status, with remainder mostly untested. 0.026% of calves tested during 2023 returned BVD virus positive results, which when put in the context of all the cattle in Ireland, in an animal-level prevalence of 0.01%.
  • The number of BVD suspect animals alive at the end of 2023 was historically low, with those having been found in only 7 out of 83,000 breeding herds.

The new Animal Health Law (AHL) sets out the requirements for recognition of BVD programmes and BVD-freedom at EU level for the first time. An application for recognition of the Irish BVD programme was submitted in 2022 and the programme was officially approved on the 18th July 2022. This approval is a key milestone for the programme and a prerequisite for applying for recognition for freedom.

Summary of BVD Eradication Key Messages for 2024

  1.  Tissue tag testing remains compulsory for 2024.
  2.  Tissue tag-test all calves as soon as possible after birth. Where positive or inconclusive tissue tag results are obtained, isolate and remove these calves promptly to obtain the higher financial support from DAFM. Confirmatory testing of these animals is no longer permitted.
  3.  Test any animals of unknown status to obtain Negative Herd Status (NHS) and avail of cheaper testing.
  4.  Check your location to assess the risk of BVD being introduced in your herd and review biosecurity. This is especially important before the breeding season, to minimise the risk of pregnant animals getting infected.

Click on the link below for the detailed key programme messages for 2024, including measures to further accelerate progress towards freedom, with a focus on prompt testing of calves and removal of suspects, prevention of onward transmission of infection from positive herds and testing of animals of unknown status, including those born before the 1st January 2013, to maximise the proportion of herds with NHS.

To find out more BVD Key Messages for 2024