Skin biopsies and blood samples from 117 calves, the offspring of dams that had been pastured on communal Alpine pastures while pregnant, were examined for bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) antigen. Immunohistochemical evaluation of skin biopsy samples revealed BVDV antigen in nine (7.7%) calves, and ELISA testing of serum samples was positive for BVDV antigen in six (5.1%). Three calves with positive skin biopsy samples and negative serum results were < 11 days old; it was assumed that maternal antibody interfered with the ELISA testing. Serum samples that were collected at a later date from two of the three calves were positive for BVDV antigen. These results were significantly different from those of a previous study in which the prevalence of persistently infected calves in an average Swiss cattle population was 0.64%. It was concluded that the risk of infection with BVDV is high in cattle sharing a communal Alpine pasture.