USDA APHIS Vet Training at Kloubec Koi Farm

Published on January 27, 2024

In the summer of 2023, Kloubec Koi Farm was again honored to host the USDA APHIS Fin Fish FAAD investigation training program. UDSA APHIS veterinarians from all across the country and Canada participated in multi-day training exercises at the Kloubec farm and USDA laboratory. Along with workshops the training curriculum included a “mock-investigation” of a fish disease outbreak. Activities pertinent to the course included proper implementation of PPE (personal protection equipment), site evaluation, specimen collection and preservation, and interviews of the fish production team, as part of a simulated outbreak and investigation.

WHAT IS USDA APHIS & FAAD?

USDA APHIS is an acronym for the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service.  USDA APHIS conducts research, surveillance, and prevention activities related to foreign aquatic animal diseases. APHIS research on foreign aquatic animal diseases focuses on understanding the pathogens, transmission routes, and impacts of these diseases on fin fish and other aquatic species. This extensive research helps in developing effective prevention, control, and management strategies to mitigate the risks posed by these diseases. In case of a fish disease outbreak, APHIS takes immediate action to contain and control the spread of the disease. This may involve quarantine measures, movement restrictions, depopulation of infected fish populations, and disinfection protocols to prevent further transmission.

Fin Fish FAAD is an acronym for Foreign Aquatic Animal Disease investigation, a program to prevent and control aquatic animal diseases in fin fish species, including koi.  Foreign Aquatic Animal Diseases (FAAD) refer to diseases that affect aquatic animals, including fin fish, that are not native to a particular region or country. It aims to monitor and detect any outbreaks of diseases in fin fish populations such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites, that could have a significant impact on the aquaculture industry and wild fish populations.

The specific research conducted by APHIS on foreign aquatic animal diseases may include:

1. Pathogen characterization: Studying the genetic makeup, virulence factors, and host range of foreign aquatic animal pathogens to better understand their potential impact and develop diagnostic tools.

2. Disease transmission: Investigating the various routes through which foreign aquatic animal diseases can spread, including introduction through trade, contaminated water sources, or interactions with wild populations.

3. Epidemiology: Conducting surveillance and monitoring programs to track the prevalence and distribution of foreign aquatic animal diseases, identifying high-risk areas and populations.

4. Risk assessment: Assessing the potential risks associated with the introduction of foreign aquatic animal diseases, considering factors such as trade pathways, environmental conditions, and susceptible species. 5. Prevention and control strategies: Developing and evaluating biosecurity measures, diagnostic tests, vaccines, and treatment options to prevent the introduction and spread of foreign aquatic animal diseases.

The ongoing research conducted by APHIS aims to enhance the understanding of foreign aquatic animal diseases and provide science-based guidance to support regulatory measures, import/export protocols, and disease prevention efforts in the aquaculture and fisheries industries.

Overall, the APHIS fin fish FAAD investigation plays a crucial role in safeguarding the health and well-being of fin fish species, including Koi, in the United States, ensuring the sustainability of the aquaculture industry, and protecting wild fish populations from devastating diseases. The joint cooperation between USDA APHIS and Kloubec Koi Farm exemplifies the continued commitment to koi health by Kloubec Koi Farm.

Why You Need Health Certification from Your Breeder- THE PROOF IS ON THE PAPER

An APHIS veterinarian is a veterinarian who has been approved and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to perform certain tasks related to the health and certification of animals such as koi.  These veterinarians play a crucial role in ensuring the health and welfare of animals, and their evaluation and certification add a level of professionalism and reliability to the health assessment of koi.

While breeders may make claims about the health and quality of their koi, providing a health certificate, a Fish Health Inspection Report from an APHIS accredited laboratory, adds a level of credibility and transparency to those claims. It is the only way to know for sure that the koi offered for sale are as healthy as promised. Here are some reasons why a Fish Health Inspection Report is instrumental in substantiating the breeder’s assertations:

  1. Disease Prevention and Control Verified by An Expert

 A Fish Health Inspection Report from an APHIS-accredited veterinarian and lab provides third-party verification of health status of the koi. This external validation enhances the credibility of the breeder’s claims, as it comes from an independent reputable authority.  It assures buyers that the stock has undergone and passed inspection criteria, via real-time PCR testing, reducing the risk of introducing catastrophic diseases such as KHV and SVC to their ponds or tanks.

  • Traceability and Accountability

In the event of any health issues or disputes, a Fish Health Inspection Report provides a documented record of the koi’s health status at the time of sale. This traceability enhances accountability and helps resolve potential concerns.

  • Risk Mitigation

Buyers often invest in koi as part of their ornamental pond or treasured collection.  Knowing that the koi you are selling come with a clean bill of health will give buyers peace of mind.  It assures them that the breeder has taken necessary steps to ensure the well-being of their stock, and is willing to prove it.

Obtaining a Fish Health Inspection Report from an APHIS-accredited veterinarian is essential, offering tangible proof of health and quality of koi. Beyond meeting regulatory standards, this practice fosters responsibility and ethics in the ornamental fish breeding sector. Moreover, it establishes trust, instills confidence, and ensures accountability among industry professionals and customers alike, ultimately promoting the long-term health and sustainability of koi populations and the aquaculture industry as a whole.

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