How the scheme operates

All calves born in Ireland must be tagged with tissue sampling tags. On arrival at the laboratory the tissue is punched out of the tags and tag details are recorded. Samples are assayed overnight and results are reported the following day to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) who will text the results to the herdowner. Results will be reported as negative, positive, inconclusive or no sample.

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) is a highly contagious viral disease of cattle that can be transmitted as easily as the common cold. It can be spread directly by infected animals, or indirectly via contaminated faeces, equipment etc. The disease is estimated to cost the Irish cattle industry €102 million annually. From 1st January 2013 a compulsory BVD eradication scheme has been operational in Ireland. Operated by Animal Health Ireland (AHI), the scheme will run on all Irish farms with a monitoring programme in place for a time thereafter. Oldcastle Laboratories is one of the laboratories designated by AHI to carry out testing as part of the scheme.

ISO 17025 Accreditation

In February 2012 Oldcastle Laboratories was accredited to the ISO 17025 standard by the Irish National Accreditation Board for BVD Antigen Testing. This is an international accreditation and is a further guarantee of the service provided here at Oldcastle Laboratories. The scope of this accreditation covers Blood and tissue sample.

We are a designated testing laboratory for The BVD National Eradication Programme in Ireland. We porvide you with an efficient turnaround of results with a  hassle free service. Samples are tested using either the ELISA or PCR method.

We test both blood, ear tissue and milk samples for the National BVD Eradication Programme
Turnaround Time 1-3 working Days
Submission of samples for BVD virus testing:

Samples should be submitted to the laboratory within 7 days of collection.

We accept the following tag types:

Allflex Tags

Cormac Tags

Datamar Tags
Sending BVD Samples

Please ensure you use a sturdy padded envelope to send your samples to the laboratory as samples may be lost in post office sorting offices if the envelopes used are not adequate.

Include the following information with your first samples:
  • Name & Address
  • Contact Telephone number
  • Email Address (if available)
  • Herd Number
  • Method of payment
  • For the latest information on pricing of the BVD samples please contact the office and we will be happy to advise you. Herd owners may set up joint accounts with multiple herds numbers attached to it but this should be stated when sending in samples for the first time.

The following are essential when posting items  through the postal system

  • All items should be sealed securely.
  • Relevant cost of postage should be applied if not using a Freepost or Business Reply service.
  • All items should be properly addressed and a return address applied to the item in the top left hand corner if not using a Business reply or Freepost service.

See below a link to the terms and conditions of using An Post Services for posting standard items.

The main points are outlined above, once these are adhered to then the items should be delivered without any undue delay. Customers can request a certificate of posting at the post office when posting these items if required. Certificate of posting is free of charge.


Payment for BVD Testing

You can call the office anytime on 0498541160 to check your account status. Prepaid accounts ensure a fast turnaround with no tags being placed ON HOLD. Discounts are available for accounts that are prepaid. If you account runs into arrears, the tag price may increase.


Disclaimer on BVD Testing

No biological test is 100% accurate. If an inaccurate result is suspected, the animal should be isolated and re-tested. All designated laboratories are independently accredited for BVD testing and the test methods used (ELISA or RT-PCR) will, in the great majority of cases, accurately detect the presence or absence of virus in tissue and blood samples when submitted and tested correctly. However, results relate only to the sample as received by the laboratory and, whilst laboratories warrant that their tests will meet their applicable declared specifications, the laboratories make no other warranty, expressed or implied and accept no responsibility or liability in respect of false results which are within the limits of the declared specifications of the tests offered. No representation or warranty is given by AHI, ICBF, the Technical Working Group, the Implementation Group or any member, employee or other person connected with any of the foregoing bodies as to the accuracy of any BVD test methods or test results. Neither AHI, ICBF, the Technical Working Group, the Implementation Group nor any member, employee or other person connected with any of the foregoing bodies shall have any liability or responsibility in respect of any laboratory or the accuracy of any test methods, test results or reports produced by any laboratory