SVC detected in imported fish
Recent routine import checks have identified spring viraemia of carp (SVC) virus in goldfish imported from a supplier in Shanghai, China. The fish were supplied by Shanghai Huateng International Trade Corporation, 3F 560 Songtao Road, Shanghai, China and were reported to originate from Shanghai Wanjin Ornamental Fish Farm, Fu Hu Village, Xu Hang Town, Jiading District, Shanghai, China.
SVC has no implications for human health. It is nonetheless, a serious viral disease, and is notifiable in GB. SVC affects common and ornamental carp, as well as a variety of other species including tench, roach, goldfish, pike and wels catfish.
The virus was detected in a sample of imported fish selected for routine checks as part of an import sampling programme undertaken by the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) at Cefas. The FHI have contacted and placed movement controls on all sites that received fish from the SVC positive consignment and are working with them to trace all further contact sites and take the necessary action to eradicate the virus. 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 from and within sites and the subsequent consequences due to losses in the event of a disease outbreak. The FHI at Cefas will be happy to discuss implementation and improvements to biosecurity measures with anyone farming, importing and trading in live fish.
The authorities in the exporting country are being informed of the isolation of SVC and pending any investigations to identify the source of the infection, importation of fish from the affected supplier will be prohibited.
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. Anyone who imports, keeps or retails goldfish or other susceptible fish should take strict precautions to prevent the spread of SVC. Further information can be found in the Cefas leaflet “Spring viraemia of carp (SVC)” available from the FHI or through this website.
To contact the FHI:
Telephone: 01305 206700
Fax: 01305 206602
Or write to:
The Fish Health Inspectorate – Cefas
Barrack Road, The Nothe
- Cefas is the UK’s largest and most diverse applied marine science organisation. Bridging the interface between science, policy and delivery, it operates as an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It provides evidence-based scientific advice, manages related data and information, conducts world-class scientific research, and facilitates collaborative action through wide-ranging relationships. Working both in the UK and internationally, it plays a vital role in securing healthy marine and freshwater environments. It has over 500 staff, two UK laboratories (in Lowestoft and Weymouth), its own ocean-going research vessel, and over 100 years of experience. For more detail about its range of activities visit www.cefas.co.uk.
- The Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI), based at Cefas’ Weymouth laboratory, is dedicated to maintaining and improving fish and shellfish health in England and Wales. Its primary role is to act for Defra and Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) in undertaking statutory and inspection duties resulting from the EU fish health regime and other national legislation in the area of fish and shellfish health. The Inspectorate is responsible for health certification of fish and shellfish movements from other countries, and runs an enforcement programme aimed at preventing the illegal importation of these animals. For more about movement controls and enforcement visit http://www.defra.gov.uk/aahm/guidance/fish-shellfish/.
- Spring viraemia of carp (SVC) is a notifiable disease under The Aquatic Animal Health (England and Wales) Regulations 2009. The disease has been controlled in GB since 1973. Great Britain has applied a control and eradication programme for SVC since 2004 and the last outbreak in wild fish stocks occurred in 2007. Great Britain is now recognised as having freedom from this disease. All imports of susceptible species of fish imported into Great Britain are required to meet stringent health requirements in order to protect our fish stocks from this disease.