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Biosecurity system reforms and the development of a risk-based surveillance and pathway analysis system for ornamental fish imported into Australia

Hood, Y., Sadler, J., Poldy, J., Starkey, C.S., Robinson, A.P.
Preventive veterinary medicine 2019 v.167 pp. 159-168
ornamental fish, risk, fish industry, biosecurity, epidemiology, monitoring, compliance, trade, emerging diseases, animal health, Carp sprivivirus, Aeromonas, water resources, algorithms, Norway, Australia
The ornamental fish trade in Australia has an estimated value of AUD$350 million and involves importation of up to 20 million fish from 26 approved countries each year. Critical reviews indicated that the biosecurity system did not fully manage the risks associated with fish that were sub-clinically infected with diseases such as megalocytiviruses, or the threats posed by emerging diseases. Subsequent reforms have placed a greater emphasis on managing biosecurity risks off-shore at the source, coupled with an on-arrival surveillance system to assess compliance with biosecurity regulation.This presentation at the first global Conference in Aquatic Animal Epidemiology in Oslo, Norway in September 2016, describes the Department of Agriculture Water Resources’ current initiatives to address increased risks in real-time while facilitating safe trade. The department is developing an innovative real-time, responsive risk-based surveillance capability to detect systemic failures on the part of the animal health authorities.The program involves a risk-based sampling algorithm on ornamental fish imported into Australia and testing for megalocytiviruses, spring viraemia of carp virus and Aeromonas salmonicida.We present the system and the results from several trials. The information generated by the verification surveillance system will be quantitative and semi-quantitative in nature and will form the basis of the department’s response to detect systematic non-compliances by overseas authorities. Evidence collected through the ongoing analysis of surveillance data will become the basis of real-time feedback to overseas authorities for remedial action at source. Delays in resolving non-compliance issues could result in the suspension of off-shore equivalent measures from particular sources.