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Spring Viraemia of Carp Detected in Imported Fish

28 April 2014

UK - A routine import check has identified Spring viraemia of carp (SVC) virus in goldfish imported from Hong Kong.

The fish were supplied by Sanwoo Fisheries and were reported to originate from Sanwoo Fisheries, Hong Kong.

SVC has no implications for human health. It is nonetheless, a serious viral disease of fish, and is notifiable in the United Kingdom.

SVC affects all varieties of goldfish (Carassius auratus), common and ornamental carp, grass carp, crucian carp and a variety of other species which include tench, pike and wels catfish.

The authorities in the exporting country are being informed of this isolation of SVC and further importation of SVC susceptible fish from the affected supplier are being stopped, pending further investigation.

The virus was detected in a sample of imported fish as part of routine checks undertaken by the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) at Cefas. The FHI have placed movement controls on the site that received the SVC positive consignment and are working with them to take the necessary action to eradicate the virus.

The importer has been co-operating with the FHI and, as part of their standard good practice, had already isolated the fish from this consignment. This considerably reduced the risk of disease spread from the infected animals.

There are no other importers in Great Britain (GB) who have received goldfish from this particular consignment. However the FHI is investigating importers who have received goldfish from this supplier in recent months and have applied movement restrictions to these premises as a precaution. In such cases good biosecurity measures, such as stock quarantine and separation of holding systems and equipment, play a vital role in minimising the potential risk of disease spread. The FHI at Cefas can discuss implementation and improvements to biosecurity measures with anyone farming, importing and trading in live fish.

The clinical signs of SVC can include darkening of the skin, swollen eyes, abdominal swelling, pale gills, trailing faecal casts and protrusion of the anus. Infected fish may be lethargic and show areas of bleeding in the gills and skin. Anyone noting deaths in goldfish or any other species susceptible to SVC, with signs of disease similar to those above, or have suspicion of notifiable disease in any aquatic animal, should immediately contact the FHI.

Further Reading

Find out more information on Spring viraemia of carp by clicking here.

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