Sentinel fish will no longer be introduced into these waters for testing. Instead each fishery will receive at least two formal visual inspections during the KHV disease outbreak season.
They may also be subject to further spot checks throughout the year. However testing will be undertaken if clinical signs of disease or mortalities are found to reoccur in resident stocks.
A confirmed designation will be removed if there is no suspicion of clinical disease after four years of inspection.
This change has been made following a review of the Fish Health Inspectorate’s (FHI) disease testing programme, and the completion of a study conducted by Cefas epidemiologists.
Cefas concluded the use of sentinel fish afforded little extra confidence of KHV disease freedom when compared to an inspection only programme.