Defra today (21 May 2007) published new measures designed to combat the introduction and spread of Koi Herpesvirus (KHV)  Disease and to improve the health and welfare standards of fish.

On 6 April 2007 it became a legal obligation to notify suspected KHV Disease in England and Wales.

Organisations participating in the Fish Welfare Group representing ornamental, fish farming, fish supply, fishery management and angling sectors have worked closely with government to develop a partnership approach to the control of future outbreaks of KHV.   

Under new statutory control arrangements,  the Fish Health Inspectorate of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), working with the Environment  Agency, will investigate reports of suspicion of clinical infection of KHV disease.

If the disease is confirmed,  the affected site will be identified and placed under movement restriction so that industry can take precautions to reduce the risk of further spread.

The Industry sectors concerned have developed guidance and codes of practice on the risks posed to businesses and  to fish in the wild from KHV infection, as well as the means of mitigating those risks through robust biosecurity.

Details of the statutory and voluntary controls announced today are contained in the following  documents:

Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) Disease: Statutory Controls
Fish Welfare Group-Press Release: Strong Support for KHV Statutory Controls
Guidance notes on Biosecurity from Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA)
Coarse Fish Farmers and Trader Association (CFFTA)
Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) Disease - Protecting Your Fishery and Responsible Angling

The Diseases of Fish (England and Wales) Order 2007 (SI 2007 No.864), which came into force on 6 April 2007, makes it a legal obligation to report suspicion that inland waters have become infected with KHV Disease. Notifications of clinical signs of disease should be made to the Fish Health Inspectorate, Cefas, Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB (tel no: 01305 206600 or Email fishhealthinspectorate@cefas.co.uk .