Animal Health & Welfare Wales

Animal Health & Welfare Wales (AHWW), established to support the Welsh farming industry by delivering solutions to some of its key animal health and welfare challenges.


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Gwaredu BVD

Read the latest news and progress on BVD eradication in Wales

Plenary session 31/01/23

Latest news on BVD eradication in Wales


The Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, made a statement on BVD eradication in Wales during a Welsh Government Plenary session on the 31/01/2023.

The clip in full is available to watch on the right.

Gwaredu BVD advert on S4C.

About Gwaredu BVD

The Gwaredu BVD voluntary screening programme was available to all 11,000 Welsh cattle farms from 2017 - 2022. We offered free BVD screening and the necessary support and guidance to ensure farmers could correctly and quickly identify herds infected with BVD. Financial support was also available to conduct PI hunts to identify any persistently infected (PI) animals in infected herds.

Over 9,200 (84%) of Welsh cattle farms engaged in the programme, with over a 1,000 of which conducting PI Hunts. Current funding for free Youngstock Screens and PI came to an end on 31 December 2022. 

If you haven't tested through the Gwaredu BVD programme, ask your vet about BVD screening today or get in touch with our team for more information.

Understanding your BVD results

We have created a handy guide to help you to understand your BVD test results, status and information on what steps you should take after screening - click here to read our guide.

In summary, if you screen negative then great, we encourage you to share your status when selling, maintain high biosecurity measures and continue to screen annually. If you receive a positive screen, you are not alone, approximately 28% of herds receive a positive screen and  a PI hunt might be needed.  Read more about PI Hunting here.

Gwaredu BVD, Royal Welsh Show 2022- Welsh Government Consultation.

A BVD-free Wales

Eradicating BVD from Wales is possible and is a priority for Gwaredu BVD. Eradicating the disease will improve herd health, productivity and profitability across Wales.

A BVD-free Wales will improve the reputation of Welsh cattle farming through promoting our dedication towards high animal welfare standards in such a competitive and global market. 

Scotland and Ireland, along with many of our European neighbours are already well on their way towards BVD freedom, let's work together and add Wales to that list!



Tests show that more than a quarter of Welsh beef and dairy herds are infected with BVD, so we need to help livestock farmers across Wales to work with us to diagnose if their herd has been exposed to the virus, and to seek and remove any infected animals.

- Dr Neil Paton, Lecturer in Farm Animal Health and Production at the Royal Veterinary College

Eradicating BVD is one of the most important initiatives in Wales for two reasons. This is an immune depressing disease and so managing it is very important to stop cattle becoming susceptible to other disease. Secondly, it's important we have a high standard of animal heath and welfare in Britain so that we have a point of difference for our produce compared to other counties in the world.

- Wyn Jones, Chair of the Strategy Advisory Board for Farming Connect

BVD is costing our farmers a lot of time and money and it often leads to further health issues in cattle which can be devastating. Gwaredu BVD is a fantastic opportunity for farmers that will help with the problem in order to support their farms to be more profitable.

- Delana Davies, Farming Connect

Farmer Gwion Owen of Hendre Arddwyfaen, Ty Nant, Corwen had his herd tested, and said: “The whole process was very quick and easy and didn't cost me anything. I now have the reassurance of knowing that my herd is free of BVD which is so important for cow fertility and many other reasons.”

- Farmer Gwion Owen of Hendre Arddwyfaen, Ty Nant, Corwen

One of the key principals of the Animal Health and Welfare framework is ‘partnership working’, and...this collaborative approach in working and delivery is an excellent model and that should be applied to all programmes also. I would ask all... to continue encouraging other cattle keepers in Wales to participate and know what their BVD-status is.

- Minister of Energy, Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths