FAQ - IBR

Is a 3 metre gap between my herd and neighbouring herds essential?

For the accreditation programme it is however for the vaccinated monitored free programme it is not a requirement.


IBR Testing


What do I need to do for the first herd test?

Test all cattle of 12 months old and older plus any bought-in cattle under 12 months old


How quickly can my herd gain IBR free status?

The second qualifying test can be done 4 weeks to 12 months after a clear first qualifying test


I have no idea what my herd’s status is for IBR so can I test a proportion of my herd to start with?

Yes it can be useful to sample a proportion of youngstock aged 12-24 months plus cows across different age groups initially


My herd has passed its first qualifying test – when can I do the second qualifying test?

After 4 weeks to 12 months


What testing is required for the second herd test?

Test all cattle of 12 months old and older plus any bought-in cattle under 12 months old


Once I have gained status for my herd do I need to test every year?

Yes. Once the herd is IBR accredited a statistical proportion of the herd and of the youngstock can be tested (according to the figures in the table).

For the vaccinated monitored free programme:

  • Beef herds: Blood test all breeding stock plus any animals that are non-homebred and originated from a herd that was not IBR accredited.

  • Dairy herds quarterly bulk milk testing is required. Test all breeding stock plus any animals that are non-homebred and originated from a herd that was not IBR accredited

Which cattle do I test for the annual herd test?

For the accreditation programme:

  • A statistical proportion of all those over 12 months old should be tested, according to the figures in the table.

For the vaccinated monitored free programme:


  • Beef herds: Blood test all breeding stock plus any animals that are non-homebred and originated from a herd that was not IBR accredited.

  • Dairy herds quarterly bulk milk testing is required. Test all breeding stock plus any animals that are non-homebred and originated from a herd that was not IBR accredited

IBR Vaccination


My cattle are vaccinated against IBR – will this interfere with testing?

If they have been vaccinated with a marker vaccine their blood samples can be tested in the IBRgE test. It is important to indicate on the submission form if they have had marker vaccine as a different test is used.


I have bought-in cattle in my herd and don’t know their vaccination status. Can they be tested for IBR?

Yes they can be tested with the standard IBR test and if found to be antibody positive they can then be tested in the IBRgE test


Can I use vaccine to protect animals going to shows?

Vaccine can be used to reduce the clinical signs if infection does occur and may also limit the amount of virus that is shed. The vaccine will not prevent an animal from becoming infected so contact with cattle of unknown status should be avoided or minimised as much as possible


I might be exporting cattle in the future – can I use IBR vaccine in my herd?

Some countries do not allow the importation of cattle that have received any IBR vaccine so it is best to check what the country’s policy is before vaccinating or avoid the use of IBR vaccine in cattle that are potentially for export


IBR Added Animals


What testing is required for bought-in animals?

Quarantine testing is optional for animals sourced direct from IBR accredited herds.

If cattle are from a non-IBR accredited herd (or from an accredited herd but purchased through a market) they must be placed in quarantine and tested after a minimum of 28 days (an earlier additional test is advisable either before purchase or early in quarantine period).

If they are antibody negative then as long as they have been tested at least 28 days after arrival then they can enter herd. However if there are multiple animals in quarantine and a mix of antibody positive and negative results have been obtained then the positive animals should not be added to the herd and negative animals need to be retested after at least 28 days. If they remain antibody negative they can enter herd.


What testing is required for animals returning from show/sale?

They must be placed in quarantine and tested after a minimum of 28 days (an earlier additional test is advisable either before purchase or early in quarantine period).

If they are antibody negative then as long as they have been tested at least 28 days after arrival then they can enter herd. However if there are multiple animals in quarantine and a mix of antibody positive and negative results have been obtained then the positive animals should not be added to the herd and negative animals need to be retested after at least 28 days. If they remain antibody negative they can enter herd.

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