Recent routine import checks have identified Spring Viraemia of Carp (SVC) virus in goldfish imported from a supplier in Hong Kong  (Tung Hoi Aquarium Co, Hong Kong)

SVC has no implications for human health. It is nonetheless, a serious viral disease affecting common and ornamental carp, as well as a variety of other species including tench, roach, rudd, goldfish, pike and wels catfish.

The virus was found in a random sample taken directly from imported boxes of fish. The Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) at Cefas has placed movement controls on, and taken samples from, all sites receiving fish from the SVC positive consignment. The FHI has also provided advice to other businesses, which may have recently imported fish from the same source, to increase awareness of any potential SVC risk.

The Authorities in the exporting country have been informed of the isolation of SVC and they are conducting investigations to identify the source of the infection. Importation of fish from the affected source will be prohibited pending the conclusion of these investigations.

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 carp or any other species susceptible to SVC, with signs of disease similar to those above, should immediately contact the Cefas Fish Health Inspectorate at the Weymouth laboratory on 01305 206673/4

Anyone who imports, keeps or retails carp or other susceptible fish should take strict precautions to prevent the spread of SVC and follow the advice set out in Defra’s booklet “Keep Fish Disease Out”, available from the Cefas Fish Health Inspectorate or through the following website: <BLOCKED::> .