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Great Britain officially VHS free

Restrictions, which have been in place since the identification of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) in the United Kingdom in May 2006, were lifted today

November 4, 2008


Great Britain officially VHS free

Restrictions, which have been in place since the identification of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) in the United Kingdom in May 2006, were lifted today.

The United Kingdom  originally suspended its approved status for VHS for the whole of Great Britain following the identification of the VHS virus at a single trout farm in North Yorkshire. The disease was eradicated from the affected fish farm which was subsequently disinfected and fallowed. Statutory controls were put in place on the Greater Ouse river catchment area and a comprehensive disease investigation conducted of farmed and wild fish stocks across the  affected area.

Following a two year surveillance program, which required regular inspection and testing of susceptible species in the affected zone no further evidence for the presence of VHS has been found. After application to the European Commission, Great Britain has regained full VHS freedom status.

This was the first outbreak of VHS recorded in mainland Great Britain, although there was an outbreak of the marine form of the disease in farmed turbot in the Isle of Gigha in 1994.

Suspicion of the presence of the disease should be immediately reported to the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Weymouth at: fish.health.inspectorate@cefas.co.uk

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