Friday, October 06, 2006

Yumekoi KHV Update

The latest news from Yumekoi is that they should have received the test results from CEFAS by now and are euthanizing all infected koi. Since Mike Snaden took blood samples from all their koi, and their customers koi that may have come into contact with the KHV outbreak which occurred after the BKKS National, they have had to wait for the results due to CEFAS being overloaded with work. Because of the backlog of samples waiting to be tested CEFAS (Centre for Fisheries, Environment and Aquaculture Science) have had to allocate extra staff to the duty of testing. With CEFAS being the only test centre in the UK that uses the reliable Elisa test that identifies KHV anti-bodies, it's been a long and anxious wait for everybody involved. Yumekoi expect to get all the results back by today, which could decide the fate of some very high quality koi.

This has been probably the worst year on record of reported cases of KHV in the UK, mostly in fisheries but what was once an almost unheard of disease is probably the most talked about topic in koi circles. The scale of the problem in the UK is unknown as some of the cases my go unreported due to the fact that there is no known cure and that there aren't any regulations yet in place to do so. A case recently when men were caught by customs trying to smuggle carp into the country from France in a van, shows how difficult controlling the spread of this disease can be. It's expected that KHV will become a notifiable disease some time early next year and rules governing the movement and sale of live animals within the UK are set to tighten.

All around the world there are conflicting opinions about what to do about KHV and while a reliable vaccine is being worked on some countries see it as less of a problem. Recently scientists in Australia revealed that they have considered releasing KHV into the wild populations of carp as a way to control their numbers, as they are seen as a pest. As KHV only kills carp this would be effective but I don't like the idea of fixing one problem with another. Not all carp are killed by the virus with some acquiring immunity but at the same time being possible carriers to infect others. This would rely on man's intervention not to spread the disease any further which has already been shown to be fallible.

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