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Danish Aquaculture Health Surveillance System

Unique principles and unmatched biosecurity

1. Surveillance expertise
The Competent Authority for animal health is the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. Within the DVFA, the Animal Health Division is responsible for animal health, animal health surveillance, veterinary epidemiology, veterinary preparedness, health management, etc.

2. Surveillance program and activities
The aquatic animal health surveillance in Denmark is based on the obligation to notify suspicion of animal diseases, the obligation to notify increased mortality, routine inspections and laboratory examinations of surveillance samples and last but not least: Historical freeness of disease of the entire location.

2.1 The obligation to notify suspicion of animal diseases
The Danish list 1 & 2 of notifiable diseases includes the following fish diseases: EHN, EUS, SVC, VHS, IHN, ISA, KHV, BKD and IPN. According to the Animal Health Act, any farmer and veterinarian is obliged to call an official veterinary officer right away if he suspects a notifiable disease.

2.2 The obligation to notify increased mortality
According to § 6 of Executive Order No. 968 of 18 July 2013, a person responsible for aquatic organisms shall, if an increased mortality in aquatic organisms is registered, immediately call a veterinarian or notify it to DVFA.

2.3 Routine inspections
During the regular routine inspections conducted as part of the official surveillance, all farm facilities (cages, tanks and ponds) are checked for dead, weak fish and fish showing abnormal behavior. Where possible, the newly dead fish, weak fish and fish with abnormal behavior are examined for clinical signs or necropsy signs of a contagious fish disease.

2.4 Laboratory examinations of surveillance samples
Brood stock farms are inspected min. twice a year and samples are taken in connection with each inspection. Targeted surveillance is carried out at brood stock farms that are registered free of IPN and BKD.

2.5 Historical freeness from disease
Licensed disease free Brood stock farms can only be approved as such, if the location has been historically free from specific disease since the initial stocking of the site.
No fish, eggs, semen or other biological material can enter the brood stock farm after it has been approved specific disease free.

3. Surveillance design
• Brood stock farms are inspected twice a year, and samples are taken in connection with each inspection.
• Brood stock farms are always located as first aquaculture operation in a watercourse and either use borehole water or spring water as water supply or other water source protected from the disease risk from wild fish.

All laboratory tests are conducted at the National Veterinary Institute (DTU-Vet), which is both the European Union Reference Laboratory for Fish Diseases (www.eurl-fish.eu) and the OIE Reference Laboratory for VHS.

4. Surveillance data management and communications
The disease situation regarding all notifiable diseases is described in the DVFA’s electronic publications Monthly Animal Health Reports, which can be downloaded from the DVFA’s homepage.

Further information can be obtained from, and questions addressed to:

Veterinary Control Office South, Aquaculture
Phone: + 45 72 27 59 34
E-mail: akva@fvst.dk


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