Bovine Viral Diarrhoea testing

Protect your herd, your production and your income with our Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) tests.

BVD is a common, highly infectious disease that costs the dairy industry $127 million every year.  

BVD testing can give you:

  • more productive animals
  • higher conception rates
  • fewer abortions and stillbirths
  • lower mortality rates.

The sooner you manage BVD on farm the more productive, healthy and profitable your herd will be.

About 60% of New Zealand herds are affected by BVD and around 10% have an active infection at any one time.

Persistently infected (PI) animals a danger to your herd

BVD is spread by carriers — known as persistently infected (PI) animals. Getting rid of PI animals is the only way to get rid of BVD from your herd.

PI animals are born with the virus in their body, either because their mother is also a PI animal, or because she was exposed to the virus in the first four months of pregnancy.

PI animals don’t grow well and 50% die by the age of 2.  Some survive longer and can spread the infection for many years.

PI animals are most dangerous for pregnant cows. Cows that are infected with BVD in the first four months of pregnancy are more likely to miscarry or have a stillbirth. They also produce PI calves.   

PI animals can also infect cows later in pregnancy and cows that aren’t pregnant, though the consequences are less serious. The animals usually recover, but while they are unwell they produce less milk and they can have other problems such as:

  • weight loss
  • lower conception rates 
  • increased susceptibility to diseases such as mastitis.

We offer three testing programmes that use milk samples to monitor your herd’s BVD status and identify persistently infected (PI) animals for culling.  

  • Bulk Milk BVD Monitoring Pack —  test three bulk milk (vat) samples throughout the season to monitor your herd’s BVD status.  
  • BVD PI Hunt — test milk samples from a routine herd test to identify PI animals if you get a positive result from your first two Bulk Milk BVD Monitoring tests.  
  • BVD PI Clear — test milk samples from a routine herd test to get a lifetime BVD-clear status for all your milking animals. 

Testing for BVD using blood and tissue samples

We can also use tissue or blood samples to identify PI animals. These tests are convenient for identifying non-lactating animals carrying the virus:

  • calves
  • yearlings
  • natural mating bulls.

We get the bulk milk samples from your dairy company at the following times:

  1. September to October (before mating).
  2. A fortnight later to check whether the results have changed. 
  3. Late February to early March to check for any changes in your herd’s BVD status after natural mating bulls have been with the herd. 

We test the first two samples for: 

  • the BVD virus (PCR test)
  • the antibodies animals produce in response to the virus (antibody ELISA test). The higher the antibody levels the more likely your herd is currently infected, or has been recently infected.  

We test the third sample for BVD antibodies only.  

If the BVD virus is detected in both the first and second tests we recommend a PI Hunt test to identify which animals are causing the problem. This allows you to cull PI animals before mating and reduce the risk of cows being exposed to the BVD virus during early pregnancy.

Invest in the pack annually for best results

Invest in a Bulk MiIk BVD Monitoring Pack every year to get a regular update on your herd’s BVD status — including its antibody levels. Low antibody levels indicate that your herd has a low natural immunity to BVD and may be vulnerable to infection. Talk to your vet about what you can do to protect your herd.

Results

We’ll email the results to you up to 5 days after we receive the bulk milk samples. We can also send the results by post if you don’t have email.  

One-off bulk milk sample tests

We also offer two types of one-off bulk milk sample tests to monitor BVD in your herd: 

  • A one-off bulk milk test uses a bulk milk sample ordered from your dairy company to check your herd’s BVD status.  
  • A custom sample milk test uses a sample of milk you collect yourself. It may include milk from a smaller number of animals to narrow down the source of infection. Call us on 0800 436 362 to find out how to collect the milk sample.     

Use the tests to detect:

  • the BVD virus (PCR test) or
  • BVD antibodies (antibody ELISA test).  

Order a Bulk Milk BVD Monitoring Pack

You can order a Bulk Milk BVD Monitoring Pack by:

Use these order forms to order a one-off bulk milk test or a custom sample milk test too.

Book a BVD PI Hunt test if the BVD virus is detected in your first two Bulk Milk BVD Monitoring tests.  

You can test for the BVD virus in every milk sample from the herd test, or you can test samples from selected cows, such as heifers. Talk to your vet or our Animal Health Advisors team about which cows you should test.

Results

We’ll email the results to you up to seven days after we receive the milk samples.  We can also send the results by post. 

Book a BVD PI Hunt test

Call 0800 436362 to book a PI Hunt test.

You must have had two consecutive negative bulk-milk tests in the current season before you can sign up for BVD PI Clear.

We do the BVD PI Clear test using milk samples from a routine herd test which we combine into several larger samples.   

If all these larger samples test negative for the BVD virus it means your herd is free of PI animals. We can then give all your milking animals a lifetime BVD-clear status on MINDA.

If we detect the virus in one of the larger samples we test the individual milk samples of all the cows in that sample to identify the PI animal responsible. 

Results

We’ll email the results to you up to 7 days after we receive the milk samples. We can also send the results by post. 

Book a BVD PI Clear test

Call 0800 436362  to book a BVD PI Clear test.

Use these tests to: 

  • identify PI animals in your milking herd 
  • screen new additions to your herd
  • screen calves and yearlings 
  • screen natural mating bulls before introducing them to your herd. 

You can also use blood samples to measure the BVD exposure level and immunity status of individual animals. 

BVD testing using tissue samples

Detect the BVD virus in individual animals by using:

See Collecting tissue samples for A2 gene testing or BVD testing for information about how to collect and send tissue samples for standalone BVD testing, and how to combine the BVD test with DNA parentage testing. 

Calves must be at least 35 days old to use tissue samples for BVD testing. 

We’ll send you the results from BVD tissue testing in 3 working days. 

Use the Whole Herd Submission Form or the Individual Animal Submission Form to test for the BVD virus in tissue samples collected for DNA parentage testing. 

Use the Animal Health Sample Submission Form to test for the BVD virus in tissue samples collected for standalone BVD testing. Tick BVD Antigen ELISA on the form.

Whole Herd Submission FormIndividual Animal Submission Form

Individual Animal Submission Form

Animal Health Sample Submission Form

Blood samples for earlier results

Detect the BVD virus in calves before they are 35 days old with blood samples taken by your vet.    

You can also use blood samples as an alternative to tissue samples to test for the BVD virus in individual animals, or to measure their exposure level or immunity status.   

Your vet should collect a 10ml blood sample for each animal being tested. We prefer purple top blood tubes but will accept red top tubes. 

Choose from four tests:

  • BVD PCR — detect the virus in animals over 35 days old.
  • Calf PCR — detect the virus in calves less than 35 days old.
  • BVD antigen ELISA — detect the virus in animals over 35 days with a slightly faster turnaround time for results.
  • BVD antibody ELISA — test whether an animal has been exposed to BVD.    

Send the blood samples, with a completed Animal Health Sample Submission Form, to: 

LIC Diagnostics

140 Riverlea Road

Hillcrest

Hamilton 3216

Tick the box on the form to indicate which of the tests you want. 

We’ll send you the results in 3 to 5 days, depending on which of the tests you choose.

Bulk milk BVD testing

Test

Sample type(s)

Price (GST excl.)

Test BVD monitoring pack

Sample type(s) Dairy company vat samples only

Price (GST excl.) $369.50

Test Additional BVD PCR – half price*

Sample type(s) Dairy company vat samples only

Price (GST excl.) $88.55

Test BVD PCR

Sample type(s) Dairy company or custom bulk milk samples

Price (GST excl.) $177.10

Test BVD antibody ELISA

Sample type(s) Dairy company or custom bulk milk samples

Price (GST excl.) $41.20

* Only available to herds on Bulk milk monitoring pack.

Individual BVD testing using herd test samples

Test

Sample type(s)

Price per sample (GST excl.)

Test PI Hunt (Nominated List)

Sample type(s) (BVD Positive herds only)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $12.70

Test PI Clear (Whole Herd)

Sample type(s) Herd Test Milk Samples (BVD Negative herds only)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $3.55 per sample

Individual BVD Testing Using Blood Or Tissue Samples

Test*

Sample type**

Result turnaround time from receipt of sample at lab

Price per sample (GST excl.)***

Test* BVD PC (Tests animals older than 35 days for BVD virus)

Sample type** EDTA Blood or serum

Result turnaround time from receipt of sample at lab 5 working days

Price per sample (GST excl.)*** $9.60 (minimum of 6 samples)

Test* Calf PCR (Tests calves up to 35 days old for BVD virus)

Sample type** EDTA Blood or serum

Result turnaround time from receipt of sample at lab 5 working days

Price per sample (GST excl.)*** $12.70 (minimum of 6 samples)

Test* BVD Antigen ELISA (Tests animals older than 35 days for BVD virus)

Sample type** Tissue or EDTA Blood/serum

Result turnaround time from receipt of sample at lab 3 working days

Price per sample (GST excl.)*** $12.70

Test* BVD Antibody ELISA (Tests for exposure to BVD virus)

Sample type** EDTA Blood or serum

Result turnaround time from receipt of sample at lab 5 working days

Price per sample (GST excl.)*** $15.80

* PI confirmation on Antigen ELISA only.

** One sample is required per individual test.

*** Sampling and veterinary consultation fees are not included.

Call 0800 436362 or talk to your LIC rep to book one of our BVD tests. You can also order a Bulk Milk Monitoring Pack by completing an order form and emailing it to testyourcows@lic.co.nz.

Bulk Milk BVD Monitoring Pack order form — Farmer

Bulk Milk BVD Monitoring Pack order form — Vet

Book a BVD test

Protect your herd, your production and your income.

Contact your LIC rep

To book contact your LIC rep

 or call 0800 436362

Book a BVD test

Protect your herd, your production and your income.

Contact your LIC rep

To book contact your LIC rep

 or call 0800 436362