Herd Health Programme 946 x 586px

Managing Herd
Health: Johne’s
& BVD Testing

Herd Health Programme 

AsureQuality’s herd health programme is a convenient and cost-effective on-farm service providing you with an overview of the health status of your stock. Having a clear picture of your herd’s health can help you put a more effective disease control plan in place, improving productivity and providing peace of mind. 

TBfree Programme 

AsureQuality is contracted to OSPRI (Operational Solutions for the Primary Industry) under the TBfree programme (external link) to deliver TB testing services for both cattle and deer. 

We also support vector control and surveillance activities under this programme by performing post-mortems of possums, ferrets, feral pigs, and deer.  

TB Testing 

While most TB testing is completed under the contract for the TBfree programme, additional testing is available upon request to provide further assurance your cattle or deer are TB free.

Johne’s Disease and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) Testing

Our herd health programme includes the following testing services for Johne’s Disease in cattle and BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea): 

  • Sample collection (blood and effluent) - can often be completed while we are on-farm for TB testing 
  • Laboratory testing of samples following current industry best practice at an accredited AsureQuality laboratory or partner laboratory 
  • Prompt reporting of results with a copy sent to your vet (or others) if requested 
  • Basic interpretation of results. 

We can also take samples for other types of testing as requested, for example:   

  • IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis) 
  • EBL (Enzootic Bovine Leukosis) 
  • CAE testing for goat herds (Caprine Encephalitis and Arthritis) 
  • Trace element deficiencies 
  • DNA sampling 

Calf disbudding 

Disbudding of calves is recommended between 2 and 6 weeks of age. To ensure high standards of animal welfare, we always use local anaesthetic, which our field technicians are fully trained and approved to administer. 

Weighing and Body Condition Scoring 

AsureQuality provides experienced stock handlers and electronic scales for cattle weighing. Condition scoring can be done at the same time or separately if required, providing a sound, objective assessment of the condition of the herd. Our staff are Certified Body Condition Score Assessors to the DairyNZ BCS Standard. 

EID Scanning and File Creation 

We have scanning equipment and trained staff to scan your herd’s EIDs, for accurate verification of animal identification, matching lifetime ID with NAIT tags, to provide farmers with electronic records for animal databases. 

How to request herd health services  

Please speak to your AsureQuality representative, email herdhealth@asurequality.com, or call 0508 00 11 22 to discuss your requirements, book services, or arrange sampling / testing.

If would like to join the mailing list for updates about the Herd Health Programme, please email us at herdhealth@asurequality.com.


What testing do you do?

  • BVD whole herd testing to detect infected animals (blood samples)
  • BVD calves and Heifers (blood samples)
  • BVD & IBR service bulls (blood samples)
  • To detect if Johnes is present on the property (bulk faecal sample)
  • Johnes R2 heifers (blood samples)
  • Johnes whole herd testing to detect infected animals (blood samples)
  • Johnes infection status of high risk animals (individual faecal samples)
  • If you have other testing requirements, please let us know.  We have the sampling and testing capability to help with a range of other threats to your herd.  Call our free phone, 0508 001122, option 1.

What are the symptoms of Johne’s disease?

Johne’s disease in cattle, sheep, and deer and is caused by a bacterium that causes thickening of the intestinal tract, resulting in malabsorption, weight loss, and diarrhoea. While infection is most common in the first six months, many animals don’t show signs of disease for several years and sometimes not at all. 

Why should I test for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD)?

Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is highly contagious and can cause production losses through infertility and the birth of weaker or deformed calves, as well as impacting milk production. Calves born to heifers infected during pregnancy are aborted or born with a persistent infection. These animals don’t always display signs of sickness and spread the virus easily.

Testing is a critical part of BVD control, helping you identify and remove infected animals and preventing new infections. AsureQuality offers a cost-effective and convenient sampling process.

How is Johne’s disease spread?

A major source of infection in a herd is animals shedding bacteria in their faeces - the bacterium can survive in the ground for up to 18 months. Johne’s disease in cattle can also be spread through feeding milk from infected cows to calves. Spread of the disease can be limited by maintaining good hygiene, especially around calves, alongside quick diagnosis and removal of suspected cases.

I use milk testing for Johnes, what’s the difference between this and blood testing?

Blood testing has high levels of sensitivity and a 20% higher detection rate than milk testing.  It provides more detail about the immunity of individual animals than milk testing can.  This ensures more informed decisions and enables a long-term strategy for managing the disease.  In addition, testing young stock through blood sampling ensures detection before they join the herd and infect calves being reared.

Faecal test vs blood test?

For just $170, a bulk faecal sample test is a quick and easy way to confirm if Johnes is present in the herd and if the level of infection is low, medium or high.  The blood test provides greater detail about the level of infection within individual animals.  An initial bulk faecal sample test will confirm if Johnes is present in the herd and inform the need for blood testing individual animals.

How long does it take to get results?

Results are provided within seven working days of on farm sampling.

What should I do once I get the results?

The results will help you build a disease management strategy which can be done in consultation with your vet.

If I’m buying animals, can I ask for them to be tested?

Yes.  Testing animals reduces your risk and provides peace of mind prior to purchase.  We will work with the vendor and undertake this testing for you.  You’ll be sent the results directly. 

Does AsureQuality work with Vets to deliver this testing?

Absolutely.  We offer sampling and testing and are happy to do this on behalf of vets.  Let us handle the workload so you can concentrate on building a disease management strategy with your farmer.

How much does it cost?

Our all-inclusive price is approximately $12 per animal.  However, discounts are available and we will provide you with a competitive quote based on your farm location and herd size. 

In addition, for just $170, a bulk faecal sample test will quickly confirm if Johnes is present in your herd and if the level of infection is low, medium or high. 

Who do I contact to make enquiries or book testing?

For more information or to book testing, call our Herd Health Specialists on free phone number: 0508 001122, option 1

All email questions can be directed to herdhealth@asurequality.com