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iridovirus and related viruses IRA report


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There is another threat to the hobby that has been table by the government from

BioSecurity Aust with the "Provisional final IRA report for freshwater ornamental

finfish with respect to gourami iridovirus and related viruses"

if you think LFS prices are high now this will see them skyrocket on imported fish

this is open to appeal until 23 Aug 2010 read the linked report below

iridovirus provisional report link

Chris

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TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.

The Iridovirus investigation that start around 2008, has just been handed down by the Bureaucrats in Canberra, last Friday 23/7/10 and the report has recommended that ALL CICHLIDS, ALL LIVEBEARERS and ALL GOURAMI species including Paradise Fish a distant relative of Gouramis, will need to be "batch tested - post arrival" in Australia for megalocytiviruses not known to exist in Australia, in other words "EXOTIC" to Australia. These idiots are so insane, that there is no test for megalocytiviruses known to exist anywhere in the World, which they have acknowledged in their final report, but they said a PCR tests will suffice for these tests.

This final report gives members of the Industry until 23/8/10 to respond to this final report, when they have taken almost three years to complete the task. They state that they have taken into consideration all the responses from the Industry and elsewhere, but have still come up to the same conclusion.

This has the potential to wipe out the Industry, OR dramatically increase the price of all species they are batch-testing, simply because of a so-called theoretical risk to our environment, when nothing can be further from the truth.

To get a 95% assurity of any species having any of these viruses, quarantine would need to remove 6 species from each batch of livebearers, cichlids, and goramis, and charge the Importers for the cost of doing these tests. So if an Importers imports 20 different colour variants of live bearers, 10 different cichlids species imported and 15 different batches of gouramis and paradise species, then the importer would be up for 45 x the costs of each test, currently valued at $200-250 per test, so you can work it out for yourself what that will cost, and subsequently all those imports will escalate in price that will just about prevent them from being sold in the Industry, or severely curtail the sales of those species altogether. Can you imagine what that will cost importers of Discus varieties, the mind "boggles".

If the authorities wants a 98% assurity then they will take 30% of any batch of fish to get a 98% success rate. Just imagine what that would do to the Industry!! THESE PEOPLE DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WHAT DAMAGE THEY WILL DO TO AN INDUSTRY WORTH IN EXCESS OF $450 MILLION P.A.

Overseas suppliers to Australia from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Germany and USA and the like are extremely upset that this is being applied to Austrlia's Aquarium Industry, as they see it if it gets accepted here that all Countries around the World will have the same applied to them, that will ruin their Industry worldwide. That is why PIAA and other major wholesalers are going to have to begin to fight this proposal with legal representation and possibly Government lobbying, to try and restrict the impact that this will have on these batches of fish, as it will not stop with just these types of fish; it will soon progress to other species eg, Tetras, Cyprinids, even the lowly Goldfish varieties, etc. I will try to keep you all informed of developments as they comes to hand, regards Norm.

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Let me see, the cost of electricity has gone up, the cost of water has gone up, the cost of imported brood stock is about to rise yet again.

Keeping fish is becoming a rich man's hobby. How many rich ornamental aquaculturists are there ?

To maintain 15,000Litres it costs me $1800 for water and $2400 for electricity per year.

Thats $0.38cents per litre per year.

Add in all the other costs and you will need to breed a lot of fish to break even, which is all I want.

It's hard for the wife to accept a hobby that costs so much.

Back to the report, two points that make me laugh.

1. Fish were taken from a petshop tested positive, then were presummed to be imported, great science there.

2. All livebearers, Gouramis, cichlids must be tested with a test that is not commercially available. Which means they must be tested in a government laboratory I presumme. Which would mean that testing would take how long ??? So therefore I presumme the fish would have to sit in quarrantine waiting on the lab results before release.

So my question is if quarrantine was relaxed in Australia what is the statistical increase in risk of importing disease.

Think of this, the vast majority of the world does not have draconian import laws yet they have financially viable agriculture. What is the trade off maybe quarrantine is costing us more than it saves us ?

I am purposely leaving out the arguement of exotic introductions leading to feral populations, that is a seperate subject.

People have their own bias:

Importers want cheap fish to make more profit.

Ornamental Farms want a higher price to make more profit.

Food aquaculturists want less disease risk to make more profit.

Ornamental hobbysts just want to enjoy a cheap hobby :)

Look at the list of respondants to the IRA, only Norm said something for us.

There is another threat to the hobby that has been table by the government from

BioSecurity Aust with the "Provisional final IRA report for freshwater ornamental

finfish with respect to gourami iridovirus and related viruses"

if you think LFS prices are high now this will see them skyrocket on imported fish

this is open to appeal until 23 Aug 2010 read the linked report below

iridovirus provisional report link

Chris

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The provisional final import risk analysis (IRA) report recommends that the importation of fish of the gourami, cichlid and poeciliid families for ornamental purposes be permitted if the fish are batch tested post-arrival in Australia to show they are free of megalocytiviruses; or are sourced from a country, zone or compartment that is recognised by Australia to be free of megalocytiviruses.

They way I read this is that if the fish come from a country that Australia reconises as being risk free then the test dont need to be done. If this is true then which countries are they?

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Another way to think of this is to look at the impact if the virus does become prevalent. What would the impact when the authorities react? Would a blanket ban be more likely?

IMO it is time the Australia aquarium industry got together and set its own standards rather than have the government do it for them. The industry needs to become part of the solution and not part of a system that takes part in bad practises in breeding countries with no standards or ethics. We have all seen what happened with neon tetras.

The virus appears to have a potential to affect the economies of fish dependant communities as well the health of our own fish. Surely the industry should react as a whole as per other groups affected by government policy.

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The provisional final import risk analysis (IRA) report recommends that the importation of fish of the gourami, cichlid and poeciliid families for ornamental purposes be permitted if the fish are batch tested post-arrival in Australia to show they are free of megalocytiviruses; or are sourced from a country, zone or compartment that is recognised by Australia to be free of megalocytiviruses.

They way I read this is that if the fish come from a country that Australia reconises as being risk free then the test dont need to be done. If this is true then which countries are they?

Dear Josh, They haven't listed them, because nobody knows which ones are diseased free, if any are, and I doubt they will find any, if you listen to other Exporters to Australia, so we have all shipments coming in being tested, for HOW MANY importers at any given point in time, and HOW MANY tests are going to be carried out, and HOW MANY Government people are going to be employed in this process, and HOW LONG will it take them to complete the job at hand. The mind "boggles" about all of it. regards Norm. By the way, I put in an extensive report about these Iridoviruses for little response, as it took me several days to compile it, all to no avail. The Industry through PIAA also put in a response which was not very strong in its approach to this issue, probably feeling it would not happen, and NOW they are worrying about it creating problems.

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They way I read this is that if the fish come from a country that Australia reconises as being risk free then the test dont need to be done. If this is true then which countries are they?

Josh I would say the reason they dont list them is because it's all of them till they the (countries) implement the same policies and procedures.

I would like to thank you Norm, for not only bringing these matters to our attention but also fighting against this and other new bans MAJOR or Minor regarding our hobby

Foti,

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Mate, while I can't be sure of everything happening in the hobby it sure seems to me like your doing alot to keep it going. I did see you have your shop advertised so thats very sad but all I can hope is you keep going to keep the hobby afloat. Keep us updated on anything we can do to help.

Cheers

Sam

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I must admit Im a bit confused re the testing

If there isnt a test then how did they test the fish shop fish and find the virus?

Using PCR is a testing method...so I still dont see how there isnt one?

PCR is actually pretty cheap...$20 - $30 a test for many other diseases...maybe this one is so expensive because its new...I would imagine the cost would decrease significantly if it became routine

Most other animals when they come into Aus are very extensivly tested ( and many are routinely treated as well) so Im not sure that fish should be any different.

We have a reputation for being clean and green and this is because of our very sensible quarantine laws...we do not want to become like many other countries who have introduced some horrible disease

Mike

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You only need to look at Mad Cow and Foot and Mouth disease in the UK. The impact on the economy runs into the billions. Sense is needed.

We have a reputation for being clean and green and this is because of our very sensible quarantine laws...we do not want to become like many other countries who have introduced some horrible disease

Mike

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