Joining the NI BVD Eradication Programme 06/05/2013

The voluntary phase of a Northern Irish BVD eradication programme became available on 1st January 2013. The testing component of this phase focuses on tissue tag samples collected by the farmer during routine tagging of calves.

The cross-industry BVD Implementation Group that is overseeing the programme has put in place a designation process for tag suppliers who wish to provide tissue sample-enabled tags for use in the programme, with the majority of local suppliers now able to supply these tags. The tag cost also includes the cost of the lab test fee. A current list of all designated tag suppliers is available on the AHWNI website ( or by contacting AHWNI on 028 87789126.

In practice you join the programme when you first order tissue sample-enabled identity tags for use in your herd, with the date of the order effectively being the date of joining. You may also have to order a new applicator. Note that if you already have a stock of official identity tags you can instead order a matched management tag for each of these bearing the relevant ID number. At the time of placing this order you will also have to undertake to comply with the programme guidelines (tag all calves as soon as possible after birth, submit samples to the testing laboratory, carryout any follow up testing required and do not sell positive or suspect animals) and also give a number of permissions to allow your data to be used in the programme e.g. for the tag supplier to provide details of the tag order to the AHWNI database that manages the programme, for the testing laboratory to transmit your results to the database and for the database to access your herd details on APHIS (to obtain dates of birth, registered dams etc). You will also be asked to provide a mobile telephone number (for rapid reporting of results) and to grant your veterinary practitioner access to your herd’s results to ensure any problems identified are dealt with as quickly as possible.

It is anticipated that each herd will typically conduct three years of tissue tag testing, with those that participate during in the voluntary year in compliance with the guidelines completing the programme first.