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EFTA Surveillance Finds Iceland's Official Fish Disease Control Satisfactory

Health Biosecurity Economics +4 more

ICELAND - The official controls concerning aquatic animal health in Iceland are in general satisfactory. That is the overall conclusion of the report published by the EFTA Surveillance Authority.

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The Authority carried out a mission to Iceland in March 2013 to verify that official controls related to aquatic animal health (including fish, molluscs and crustaceans) were carried out in compliance with the EEA rules.

Although official controls were carried out regularly, with appropriate frequency and were well reported, some shortcomings were detected:

  • Veterinarians are providing medicine to the same farms where they are responsible for official controls of the use of veterinary medicine. This may constitute a possible conflict of interest.
  • A register of aquaculture production businesses is established and available to the public, but transporters were not included in the register.
  • Aquaculture production businesses were all approved and under official control. However, quality management systems and biosecurity plans were not yet in place or finalised in some fish farms that were visited.
  • A system for notification of the presence of disease is in place in Iceland, and a contingency plan for fish diseases has been established. However, there are currently no facilities equipped or authorised for slaughtering fish for disease control purposes. Also, the contingency plan is not clear on where and how to dispose of carcasses in case of outbreak of disease.

A national reference laboratory has recently been designated using accredited methods for detecting fish diseases. The laboratory was in general well organised with only minor discrepancies observed.

Read the final report here.