Hungarian cattle herds were surveyed for bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) infection by ELISA of milk and serum samples. In 1993, 75% of the large cattle herds (consisting of more than 50 cattle) and all small herds (small-scale producers' stocks), while in 1997 90% of the small herds were included in the survey. In the case of large herds, 79.3% of the herds and 64.1% of the samples tested were found to be positive. Of the small herds, 13.5% and 15.7% tested positive in 1993 and 1997, respectively. The majority of large herds were Holstein-Friesian dairy stocks. Small herds with an infection rate markedly exceeding the average were found in those counties where the small herds had been in close contact with the large-scale farms, or where new herds were established by using animals of uncontrolled infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) status originating from large farms. Attention is called to the importance of maintaining the IBR-free status of small herds that constitute one-third of the Hungarian cattle population.