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Bovine Virus Diarrhoea (BVD) control strategy

The Department of Environment Food and Agriculture ('DEFA') introduced the BVD control strategy in 2013 as a voluntary scheme, becoming compulsory on 1 January 2014. The aim is to eradicate the disease in the medium term. 

We asked for the views of the public on proposals for the next phase of the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) Scheme in December 2017. These proposals have been designed to progress further towards eradication of BVD. Consultation summary results are available.

View the summary and responses to our 'Implementation of Policy on BVD' consultation.

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)

BVD is a commonly occurring disease, which has serious financial implications for cattle producers and dairy herds. Calculations by the department have indicated that total direct and indirect losses due to this disease amount to ~£750,000/per year within the Isle of Man National herd. With the average Dairy herd losing £13,500/year and the average Beef herd losing £4,600/year. 

Keeper requirements

  • All calves, including dead and stillborn must be sampled using the official tags within 20 days of birth

  • Animals born after 1 January 2014 can only be moved once a negative result is received (unless official permission is given by DEFA, see below)

  • Dams of unknown PI status who have a PI positive calf will be served with a 'Notice to Test'

  • Breeding bulls can only be moved once a negative result is received

  • Imported animals must be sampled during their isolation period (or before)

PI positive animals cannot move to another holding - their only permissible movement is direct to slaughter as last pick-up only, or to be culled. Please note they cannot be exported and the meat plants currently policy is not to take BVD positive animals so direct to slaughter is not currently an option.

Button tags are available for those animals requiring a retest (earliest resample date is 3 weeks after the initial sample but no later than 6 weeks). The same applies if resampling a positive animal. Please contact or +44 1624 685616 for a button tag.

Moving a calf of unknown BVD status

If you need to do this (e.g. foster calf) you MUST gain a ‘Notice to Move’ from DEFA – email or telephone +44 1624 685616.

The laboratory charge for a BVD tissue sample is £2.10. This will be reclaimed from your ADS payment, where applicable.

There are a number of strategies that will assist in controlling disease: 

  • maintaining good biosecurity
  • advice from your own veterinary surgeon on the suitability of vaccination
  • purchasing animals of known BVD status
  • a Health Plan strategy for all bought in cattle

Please see the BVD FAQ (downloadable document on the right) for much more information and discuss your particular farm’s requirements with your private veterinary surgeon. 

Laboratory submission forms are available to download on the right and envelopes are available from Thie Slieau Whallian. Please ensure you use a large letter stamp and post your samples within 1 week of sampling.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture is committed to ensuring that its services are accessible to all. If you require this document in an alternative format and / or language please contact us to discuss your needs.

Animal Health Team – Regulation Directorate

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St John's


Telephone:+44 1624 685844

Email:Send Email

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