The cost of posting bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) samples is to rise by 35c per envelope on 1 February.

New postage charges from An Post will see the price of posting a padded A4 package weighing under 100g rise from €2.10 to €2.45.

Animal Health Ireland (AHI), which runs the BVD programme, advises farmers to place samples in a sealable bag within a padded envelope and to write their name, address and herd number on the top left hand corner of the envelope.

Farmers should write ‘exempt animal specimen’ on the back of the envelope.

The AHI has said that up to 10 samples should fit in the envelope, provided they are packed flat.

“For larger numbers, it is advisable to take your package to the post office to ensure the correct postage is paid,” it said.

Maria Guelbenzu, BVD programme manager, told the Irish Farmers Journal: “It has been drawn to our attention that An Post are to increase postal charges on the 1 February.

“In order to avoid unnecessary delays, we would like to remind farmers to ensure that the correct postage is paid when sending samples to the laboratories for BVD testing,” she said.

An Post has previously advised AHI that it will retain envelopes where the correct postage has not been paid.

Tissue tag testing remains compulsory for 2023, with the Department of Agriculture paying €2/calf to farmers based on calves registered this year, up to a maximum of 25 calves.