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Iridovirus Final Report not good for Aquarium Industry.


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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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Is there any real reason why you continue to double post this info Norm? It is becoming annoying having to read the same post with different replies in different threads.

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Two cut and pastes from some journals

The pathology of systemic iridoviral disease in fish

J Comp Pathol. 2003 Aug-Oct;129(2-3):111-9.

S Gibson-Kueh1, P Netto, G H Ngoh-Lim, S F Chang, L L Ho, Q W Qin, F H C Chua, M L Ng, H W Ferguson

1 Aquatic Animal Health Branch, Animal and Plant Health Laboratory Division, AgriFood and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, 60 Sengkang East Way, Singapore 548596.

Abstract

Iridoviruses have been associated with severe disease and economic loss in farmed food fish and ornamental fish, with mortality often reported to reach 50% or more. In the present study, three tropical marine food fish species and four tropical freshwater ornamental fish species with systemic iridovirus infections were examined histopathologically and ultrastructurally. Light microscopy consistently revealed pale to intensely basophilic hypertrophied virus-infected cells in spleen, kidney and intestine from all seven species. Ultrastructural examination showed changes in the vascular endothelium overlying hypertrophied virus-infected cells suggestive of pressure necrosis. Viral isolation was improved by the use of fibroblastic cell lines. This, together with the sub-endothelial location of infected cells in all infected species examined, suggests that systemic iridoviruses are mesotheliotropic.

Evaluation of lethal and non-lethal sampling methods for the detection of white sturgeon iridovirus infection in white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus (Richardson)

J Fish Dis. June 2007;30(6):367-79.

J D Drennan1, S E LaPatra, C A Samson, S Ireland, K F Eversman, K D Cain

1 Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Aquaculture Research Institute, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-1136, USA.

Abstract

Pectoral fin tissue of white sturgeon was investigated as a potential non-lethal sample source for the detection of white sturgeon iridovirus (WSIV) infection. Histopathology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results using fin tissue were compared with the standard lethal histopathology sampling method that utilizes head tissue. Tissues for each of the three sampling methods were collected weekly for 8 weeks from individual sturgeon undergoing an experimental cohabitation challenge with fish infected with the Abernathy isolate of WSIV. Non-lethal fin histopathological evaluation did not reveal infection during the first 3 weeks of sampling, while non-lethal PCR and the lethal method were variable. However, all three sampling methods were equally capable of identifying infection from 4 to 8 weeks post-exposure. Of the survivors tested, all were negative by PCR and the lethal method, and only one fish was identified as being positive by non-lethal fin histopathology. In another experiment, all three sampling methods were applied to asymptomatic WSIV carriers in a case study conducted at the Kootenai Tribal Sturgeon Conservation Hatchery. Results showed that both lethal and non-lethal fin histopathology were equally effective in detecting infection, but PCR was unable to identify this strain of WSIV. Depending on the virus isolate, these results suggest that non-lethal sampling of fin tissue (histopathology or PCR) is comparable with the lethal sampling method at identifying WSIV infection once infection is established, and under certain circumstances may provide an alternative to lethal sampling

50% mortality...we DO NOT want this virus here...imagine what it would do to the aquarium industry with that sort of mortality rate

and there does seem to be a useful non lethal test.

SOUNDS like the advisory group needs to get up to date with some of the science?

Mike

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Love your work Mike. Ever thought about being a vet? :lol3:

I want to keep these nasty viruses out of the country and think we need to do what needs to be done to make sure of it. If there are non-lethal tests, great.

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Think you need to look at a systematic review of literature to get a better picture but thanks for the journal mike

Good point

I browsed through a few journal articles today (actually mostly extracts) at work today and pulled out the most relevant ones

Most tests are indeed lethal but work is out there on non lethal tests

It is true that there just aren't enough aquatic vet pathologists in the country to do the tests (my wife is one of them) so we are behind the eight ball to start with but that is a gov departmental problem, not a fish industry problem BUT its much easier to ban something rather than try and fix it

By all accounts this is a really nasty virus...really really nasty and we really do not want it here

I'm still not convinced either way yet...I am convinced that something must be done...weve had it too easy for too long in an activity that holds too many risks for people other than just ourselves. I just don't know what the answer is

I do think that it easier to just ban things (which is what the gov wants) and really not acceptable the way things are (I THINK the current quarantine is two weeks, ridiculously short) so a sensible middle ground really should be reached (but this probably wont happen)

I believe that in WA some people have already started destroying fish because the new laws over there started on 25th of this month? So it has already started

Love your work Mike. Ever thought about being a vet? :lol3:

Now why would I do a silly thing like that :)

Mike

Edited by Noddy65
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Thanks for the info Mike. One thing I disagree with is that is a government problem. It is a problem for all stakeholders and the aquatic industry needs to be part of the solution. Imagine asking the taxpayer for $$$s to pay for vets for ornamental fish.

From the sources you posted it looks like a 4 week quarantine is needed for this virus alone.

The only solution I can think of is a stricter longer quarantine period at licensed institutions funded by the industry. Costs will increase to consumers but the alternative of a virus outbreak and an importation shutdown is far worse.

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Likelyhood and consequence = start testing?

Tho how do we know we don’t already have it in the country?

Do we now have to take our fish to be put under the scope at our costs before they begin this mandatory examination on all imported fish?

I believe we need to ask ourselves “if this virus has been around undetected for years then we must be victims as well!”

Don’t get me wrong it sounds like a nasty piece of work and I trust that Mike knows best. Tho it feels like its a sham! Fiction that has been congaed up

Il finish by saying I’m for this testing but I believe that it has been push more for scare tactics than it being of a threat

We will lose all of our so called freedom in fear of a so called threat when will it end!

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HMMM I think it is time I changed my hobby to bird keeping, horses or maybe pig keeping. Oh hang on didn't we just have a problem with those animals ***Sigh***. I might go back to pet rocks again.....

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HMMM I think it is time I changed my hobby to bird keeping, horses or maybe pig keeping. Oh hang on didn't we just have a problem with those animals ***Sigh***. I might go back to pet rocks again.....

I was thinking teh saem thing the other night.

Birds cant be imported now (I think) although there was short period where they could be housed off shore (Christmas Island I think) for a few months

Dog quarantine is for months and the list of tests is endless

Most other production animals are heavily tested and quarantined...we have been extremely lucky so far

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looks like everyone will just have to go marine as allot of the fish are caught in Australia, the corals are collected in australia and the live rock is collected from within australia :) no imports, no virus, no fees, no hassle!

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The Pollies and environmentalists should just realise that they will actually never be able to rid Australia of ornamental fish and scrap any plans to ban what is currently allowed in the country. Hard core hobbyists and people who see it as a money making opportunity will take the hobby "underground" if they have access to the facillities. There will be people out there also that will not care about the laws and continue to keep there cichlids and want to continue buying and keeping different species. I can see that there will be a black market for fish if it ever happens, the prices would be massive but the fish would still be availible. And there would be alot of people out there with the cash to fork out. I have heard a few stories in the past of cichlids and other tropicals being smuggled into the country, happens every day with other animals too people dont seem to care about laws these days unfortunately. Geez that was a mouthful lol hope it made sense. Just something ive often thought about.

Ben

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The Pollies and environmentalists should just realise that they will actually never be able to rid Australia of ornamental fish and scrap any plans to ban what is currently allowed in the country.

Thats true but dont lose site of what this is all about...its not about BANNING the fish...its about trying to make sure that the various bugs/virus the fish carry dont make it into our native fish or into our aquaculture industry (the current quarantine practicies just arent adequate)...compared to the value of that, the pet fish industry is insignificant.

Mike

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The Pollies and environmentalists should just realise that they will actually never be able to rid Australia of ornamental fish and scrap any plans to ban what is currently allowed in the country.

Thats true but dont lose site of what this is all about...its not about BANNING the fish...its about trying to make sure that the various bugs/virus the fish carry dont make it into our native fish or into our aquaculture industry (the current quarantine practicies just arent adequate)...compared to the value of that, the pet fish industry is insignificant.

Mike

Yeah true there mate didnt think about that before going of on a tangent lol. Being an absolute fishing nut it would be crap not being table to target bass, barra, murray cod, callop etc etc. Its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other isnt it.

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