There have been several media reports about the proposed import of record-sized carp from a source in France to a fishery in England over the last few weeks.

The government’s Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI), based at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas), can confirm that at present it is illegal to import carp from France, irrespective of what any French supplier or potential UK importer may claim.

A basic principle of disease control within the EU is that any claim for status for a particular disease is only possible if that disease is notifiable in the Member State concerned. Spring Viraemia of Carp (SVC), for instance, is not a notifiable disease in France nor in many other EU countries. Therefore the French competent authorities are unable to sign the appropriate health certification for carp exports.

The FHI has spoken to the fishery owner, who advertised his intention to import record-sized carp from France, to explain that the planned import is illegal. The FHI are seeking the owner’s help to identify the importer. The Inspectorate will contact the importer to ensure that they are aware that any import from France would be illegal.

Stuart Katon, FHI Enforcement and Investigations Officer said: “Fishery owners being offered fish from a supposedly disease-free source in France, or any other country, should contact us so that we can advise on the legality of the proposed import and take action against any illegal importers.”

Stuart Katon can be contacted on 01305 206811, or the FHI can be reached at 01305 206700. All enquiries and any information supplied will be dealt with in strict confidence.