Herd Health

For all Herd Health related queries contact Robert Burns or Martina Cullivan, IMLABS 0429675353

/Herd Health
Herd Health2019-04-04T17:01:24+01:00

The Steps

  • Familiarise yourself and your vet with the scheme (CHeCS Technical Document, Information Leaflet, etc.)
  • Complete Application Form
  • Once membership is approved you will receive Sample Submission Forms.
  • Decide upon Diseases you will test for.
  • Arrange for your Vet to take samples (one blood sample / animal) and to complete your herd health plan.

  • Get your Vet to send samples together with submission form and herd profile (signed hard copy, plus electronic) to IML. (IML is the only approved laboratory for the testing of Limo Leader samples).

  • Receive results.
  • Follow up if disease or antibody positive (consult your Vet, IML support) may require additional testing, and / or culling.
  • Bought in animals (isolation, testing) – consult CHeCS Technical Document for details.
  • Certification issued by Limo Leader/ILCS under CHeCS licence (Statement of Participation, Accrediation Certificate).
  • Annual herd screening and update of herd health plans to take place in order to maintain accreditation.


Click on the links below to download our forms

Herd Health Information
Application Form
Checs Technical Document
Sample Submission Form
Johne’s Control Plan Templete
Neospora Control Plan Template
ICBF BVD Permissions Instructions
Bull Fertility Testing
Vet List – Bull Fertility Exam
Veterinary Bull Fertility Exam Form

Limo Leader – Common Queries

Enhanced Herd Health, Internationally recognised accreditation.
Test BvD BVDAb Johnes IBR gE IBR gB Lepto Neospora
€4.31 €4.54 €3.29 €5.30 €3.41 €4.31 €5.11


No. Select what diseases you want but Johnes testing mandatory to participate in all Society sales from October 2015. Do all animals in my herd need to be blood sampled? No. Animals to be tested depends on disease and age.

Eligible age guide (guide only – for detail refer to CHeCS Document)

(BVD two tests exist, antibody to assess exposure and virus for definitive)

  • Random sample BVD 9 to 18 months
  • Johnes over 2 years – IBR and Lepto over 1 year
Scheme compliant with AHI, under the scheme in Year 1 you do bloods for BVD and then from Year 2 onwards you are testing young stock and bought ins for this you can do blood or the AHI Ear Tags.
Totally confidential. Results sent to you with copies retained by IML and only where relevant ILCS for certification.
Participants must follow the rules and conditions of CHeCS. The scheme is subject to audits and checks. Abuse will lead to exclusion from the scheme and loss of status.
Yes, CHeCS licensed. Approved by AHI and CHeCS is an internationally recognised standard. Laboratory tests are internationally approved (ISO70425 standard).
Only labs recognised under the CHeCS approved health scheme can be used.
Maybe. Only if as part of a CHeCS scheme. However, any previous testing will help you know the current status of your herd.
All make sense and are reasonable eg Boundary fencing, bought in animals, shared equipment etc. Don’t be scared off.
Rules apply, consult CHeCS Technical Document.

As we learn more about Herd Health the benefits of participation in an accredited Herd Health Scheme become even clearer.

The CHeCs accredited Limo Leader Scheme is now entering into its third year with a number of herds qualifying for accreditation status. The benefit to members and customers has been enormous.

Testing is carried out, at very competitive rates, by IML/Enfer in Naas for scheme members. Blood samples are taken in general during a herd’s annual TB test (before the TB jab with one blood bottle covering all diseases being tested for). Herds can use the AHI BVD tags for BVD screening provided a full herd BVD blood screen is done in year one. CHeCs requires blood sampling for BVD in year one to provide a definitive base for your herd, thereafter members can use the new AHI tags for new born calves to achieve accreditation.

Johnes and BVD remain the most important diseases for the accreditation of breeding stock.


BVD Virus has only to be tested for once in an animal’s life, if it is a PI it will always be a PI and if it is not a PI it will never become one. PIs cause the spread of BVD.

Any calves born from the first of January 2013 must have tested negative for BVD virus to be allowed to be sold live either through a mart or farm to farm. The result of this test must be up on the Dept AIMS / ICBF system (as for TB test status) at the time of sale.

To BVD virus test a calf a number of options exist:

  • Use the new AHI tags and send the tissue sample to one of the listed approved labs. The tag costs between 60 cent and one euro more than the normal tag depending on volume. The test cost ranges between 4 and 5 euro depending on the lab. As at printing Enfer in Naas were the cheapest lab. In addition Enfer offer a discounted rate to Limo Leader members, based on prepay, of three euro 40 cent. Enfer will pick up this rate automatically from a scheme members ID number.
  • The lab sends the result to the Dept AIMS / ICBF who will issue a text to the farmer, this process only completes if the calf has been registered with the Dept/ICBF through animal events.
  • ICBF can issue a herd print out for each farmer which can be sent into Limo Leader for accreditation purposes.
  • Use the old type tags and insert a separate button tag for BVD testing. When the results come back the onus is on the farmer and his vet to have the Dept AIMS / ICBF system updated.
  • Blood test the animal. Again the onus is on the farmer and his vet to have the Dept AIMS / ICBF system updated. Also blood sampling can be problematic with young calves. Tissue testing can give rise to false positives if there has been recent vaccination within a herd. Blood testing is a very useful back up in this regard.


Johnes disease is spread principally by contact with faeces from infected animals. Johnes is a bacteria that rests in an animals gut, and when active it hardens the gut wall preventing nutrient absorption and sheds in the animals faeces.

Any animal coming in contact with infected faeces may become infected with Johnes, the greatest risk is to young animals and a dams progeny.

Johnes control requires annual testing of all animals over two years of age. Due to the nature of the disease a herd can never guarantee Johnes free status, the best assurance is accredited low risk and this can only be achieved by annually testing all animals over two years in age.


IBR testing is very useful for breeders with potential AI Sires or those intending to participate in the Gene Ireland Bull Breeder programme.

If Leptospirosis is a concern probably the best control is vaccination.

IML/Enfer can also test for Neospora and Salmonella for members (but not yet as part of an accredited programme).

Neospora is a parasite that causes abortions in cattle, it is spread by dogs and foxes.

The aim of Limo Leader is to offer breeders

An effective herd health scheme.

Disease monitoring and testing at competitive prices.

Herd health accreditation

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