DEFRA have recently stated that in all probability, England will be declared an Eradication Zone for KHV.
What does this mean you may ask: When this takes place, several outcomes will naturally follow. These include:
- Imports of fish vaccinated against KHV will not be permitted.
- Fish will only be allowed to be imported from Countries, Zones or Fish Farms which are proven to be free from KHV. At this stage, the exact method in determining KHV free stock has yet to be finalised by the European Commission.
- In view of the proposed classification, new restrictions will apply when exporting fish. Any fish exported from England will only be able to be transferred to ‘diseased Zones’ unless the exporting ‘site’ can be established to be free from KHV. This will obviously impact with Koi trade with Scotland, Northern Island, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey, depending upon how these regions classify themselves with regards to their KHV Status.
At the present time, DEFRA are looking to implement the legislation by the 1st October However looking at progress, this seems to be slipping and the more likely date through the ‘grapevine’ will be the 1st April, 2009.
We are 100% behind any effort made by Central Government to help reduce the incidence of KHV. However in order to really beat this problem, it needs to be tackled by all of us in the ornamental fish industry. As part of the measures, all Koi imported into the UK must be subjected to an approved heat cycling quarantine protocol at some stage during their journey from the fish farm to the fishery, lake or pond.
Although we hold a UK State Vetinary Service ‘Animal Transport Authorization’ which allows us to move fish worldwide by road, sea and air, the proposed regulations will, rightly so, impose restrictions on fish movements we can undertake to and from certain destinations. Should you wish to move your Koi from England to a ‘disease free’ Zone, we will be able to carry out all the testing required which will (hopefully) allow your Koi to be certified ‘free from KHV’.
Should you require any assistance or advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.