Aquatic Animal Health Code
For the purpose of the Aquatic Code:
means a naturally occurring, semi-synthetic or synthetic substance that at in vivo concentrations exhibits antimicrobial activity (kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms). Anthelmintics and substances classed as disinfectants or antiseptics are excluded from this definition.
means the farming of aquatic animals with some sort of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc.
means an establishment in which amphibians, fish, molluscs or crustaceans for breeding, stocking or sale are raised or kept.
aquatic animal health professional
means a person who, for the purposes of the Aquatic Code, is authorised by the Competent Authority to carry out certain designated tasks in a territory and has the appropriate qualifications and training to perform the designated tasks.
aquatic Animal Health Services
means the governmental and non-governmental organisations that implement animal health and welfare measures and other standards and recommendations in the Aquatic Code in the territory. The Aquatic Animal Health Services are under the overall control and direction of the Competent Authority. Private sector organisations, veterinarians or aquatic animal health professionals are normally accredited or approved by the Competent Authority to deliver the delegated functions.
aquatic animal health status
means the status of a country, zone or compartment with respect to an aquatic animaldisease in accordance with the criteria listed in the relevant chapter of the Aquatic Code dealing with the disease.
aquatic animal products
means non-viable aquatic animals and products from aquatic animals.
means all life stages (including eggs and gametes) of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and amphibians originating from aquaculture establishments or removed from the wild, for farming purposes, for release into the environment, for human consumption or for ornamental purposes.
means the OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code.
means the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals.
basic biosecurity conditions
means a set of conditions applying to a particular disease, and a particular zone or country, required to ensure adequate disease security, such as:
the disease, including suspicion of the disease, is compulsorily notifiable to the Competent Authority; and
an early detection system is in place within the zone or country; and
import requirements to prevent the introduction of disease into the country or zone, as outlined in the Aquatic Code, are in place.
means a tendency of an estimate to differ in a non-random fashion from the true value of a population parameter.
biological reagents for use in the diagnosis of certain diseases;
sera for use in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases;
inactivated or modified vaccines for use in preventive vaccination against certain diseases;
genetic material of infectious agents;
endocrine tissues from fish or used in fish.
means a set of management and physical measures designed to reduce the risk of introduction, establishment and spread of pathogenic agents to, from and within an aquatic animal population.
means a plan that identifies significant potential pathways for the introduction and spread of disease in a zone or compartment, and describes the measures which are being, or will be, applied to mitigate the risks to introduce and spread disease, taking into consideration the recommendations in the Aquatic Code. The plan should also describe how these measures are audited, with respect to both their implementation and their targeting, to ensure that the risks are regularly re-assessed and the measures adjusted accordingly.
means an individual aquatic animal infected by a pathogenic agent, with or without clinical signs.
is a set of criteria used to distinguish a case animal or an epidemiological unit from a non-case.
means a person authorised by the Competent Authority to sign health certificates for aquatic animals.
means aquatic animals, aquatic animal products, biological products and pathological material.
means one or more aquaculture establishments under a common biosecurity management system containing an aquatic animal population with a distinct health status with respect to a specific disease or diseases for which required surveillance and control measures are applied and basic biosecurity conditions are met for the purpose of international trade. Such compartments must be clearly documented by the Competent Authority(ies).
means the Veterinary Authority or other Governmental Authority of a Member Country having the responsibility and competence for ensuring or supervising the implementation of aquatic animal health and welfare measures, international health certification and other standards and recommendations in the Aquatic Code in the whole territory.
means a transport appliance:
of a permanent type and sufficiently strong to enable repeated use;
specially constructed to facilitate transport of aquatic animals or aquatic animal products by one or several means of transport;
provided with fittings that make it easy to manipulate, particularly for trans-shipment from one kind of transport vehicle to another;
constructed in a watertight way, easy to load and unload and capable of being cleansed and disinfected;
ensuring safe and optimal transport of aquatic animals.
means a documented work plan designed to ensure that all needed actions, requirements and resources are provided in order to eradicate or bring under control outbreaks of specified diseases of aquatic animals.
means determination of the nature of a disease.
means clinical or non-clinical infection with one or more aetiological agents.
means chemical compounds or physical processes capable of destroying pathogenic agents or inhibiting their growth in the course of disinfection.
means the process of cleaning and applying disinfectants to inactivate pathogenic agents on potentially contaminated items.
early detection system
means an efficient system for ensuring the rapid recognition of signs that are suspicious of a listed disease, or an emerging disease situation, or unexplained mortality, in aquatic animals in an aquaculture establishment or in the wild, and the rapid communication of the event to the Competent Authority, with the aim of activating diagnostic investigation by the Aquatic Animal Health Services with minimal delay. Such a system will include the following characteristics:
broad awareness, e.g. among the personnel employed at aquaculture establishments or involved in processing, of the characteristic signs of the listed diseases and emerging diseases;
veterinarians or aquatic animal health professionals trained in recognising and reporting suspicions of disease occurrence;
ability of the Aquatic Animal Health Services to undertake rapid and effective disease investigation based on a national chain of command;
access by the Aquatic Animal Health Services to laboratories with the facilities for diagnosing and differentiating listed diseases and emerging diseases;
the legal obligation of private veterinarians or aquatic animal health professionals to report suspicions of disease occurrence to the Competent Authority.
means a viable fertilised ovum of an aquatic animal. ‘Green eggs’ means newly fertilised ova of fish. ‘Eyed eggs’ means eggs of fish where the eyes of the embryo are visible and that the eggs may be transported.
means a disease, other than listed diseases, which has a significant impact on aquatic animal or public health resulting from:
a change of known pathogenic agent or its spread to a new geographic area or species; or
a newly recognised or suspected pathogenic agent.
means a group of animals that share approximately the same risk of exposure to a pathogenic agent with a defined location. This may be because they share a common aquatic environment (e.g. fish in a pond, caged fish in a lake), or because management practices make it likely that a pathogenic agent in one group of animals would quickly spread to other animals (e.g. all the ponds on a farm, all the ponds in a village system).
means fish from which internal organs, excluding the brain and gills, have been removed.
means a country from which aquatic animals or aquatic animal products, biological products or pathological material are sent to a destination in another country.
means, for disease management purposes, an operation where an aquaculture establishment is emptied of aquatic animals susceptible to a disease of concern or known to be capable of transferring the pathogenic agent, and, where feasible, of the carrying water. For aquatic animals of unknown susceptibility and those agreed not to be capable of acting as carriers of a disease of concern, decisions on fallowing should be based on a risk assessment.
means any material (single or multiple), whether processed, semi-processed or raw, as well as live organisms, which is intended to be fed directly to aquatic animals.
means a component, part or constituent of any combination or mixture making up a feed, including feed additives, whether or not it has a nutritional value in the animal’s diet. Ingredients may be of terrestrial or aquatic, plant or animal origin and may be organic or inorganic substances.
means a compartment that fulfils the requirements for self-declaration of freedom from disease with respect to the disease(s) under consideration in accordance with the relevant chapter(s) in the Aquatic Code.
means a country that fulfils the requirements for self-declaration of freedom from disease with respect to the disease(s) under consideration in accordance with the relevant chapter(s) in the Aquatic Code.
means a zone that fulfils the requirements for self-declaration of freedom from disease with respect to the disease(s) under consideration in accordance with the relevant chapter(s) in the Aquatic Code.
means any international airport or any port, railway station or road post open to international trade.
means the sperm or unfertilised eggs of aquatic animals that are held or transported separately prior to fertilisation.
means a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or a condition of, an aquatic animal or aquatic animal product with the potential to cause an adverse effect on aquatic animal health or public health.
means the Permanent Secretariat of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), located at:
12, rue de Prony, 75017 Paris, FRANCE
Telephone: 33-(0)1 44 15 18 88
Fax: 33-(0)1 42 67 09 87
Electronic mail: [email protected]
means a country that is the final destination to which aquatic animals, aquatic animal products, biological products or pathological material are sent.
means the number of new outbreaks of disease within a specified period of time in a defined aquatic animal population.
means a zone in which a disease has been diagnosed.
means the presence of a multiplying or otherwise developing or latent pathogenic agent in a host. This term is understood to include infestation where the pathogenic agent is a parasite in or on a host.
international aquatic animal health certificate
means a certificate, issued in conformity with the provisions of Chapter 5.11., describing the aquatic animal health and/or public health requirements that should be fulfilled prior to export of commodity.
means import, export or transit of aquatic animals, aquatic animal products, biological products and pathological material.
means diseases that are referred to in Chapter 1.3.
means a product derived from an aquatic animal that has been ground and heat processed to reduce the moisture content to less than 10%.
means the procedure by which:
the Competent Authority informs the Headquarters,
the Headquarters inform Competent Authorities of Member Countries
of the occurrence of a disease in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1.1.
means an occurrence of one or more cases in an epidemiological unit.
means an organism that causes or contributes to the development of a disease.
means samples obtained from live or dead aquatic animals, containing or suspected of containing pathogenic agents, to be sent to a laboratory.
means the total number of infected aquatic animals expressed as a percentage of the total number of aquatic animals in a given aquatic animal population at one specific time.
means a sampling strategy in which every unit has a known non-zero probability of inclusion in the sample.
means a zone established to protect the health status of aquatic animals in a free country or free zone, from those in a country or zone of a different aquatic animal health status, using measures based on the epidemiology of the disease under consideration to prevent spread of the pathogenic agent into a free country or free zone. These measures may include, but are not limited to, vaccination, movement control and an intensified degree of surveillance.
means maintaining a group of aquatic animals in isolation with no direct or indirect contact with other aquatic animals, in order to undergo observation for a specified length of time and, if appropriate, testing and treatment, including proper treatment of the effluent waters.
means the likelihood of the occurrence and the likely magnitude of the biological and economic consequences of an adverse event or effect to animal or human health.
means the process composed of hazard identification, risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.
means the scientific evaluation of the likelihood and the biological and economic consequences of entry, establishment and spread of a hazard.
is the interactive exchange of information and opinions throughout the risk analysis process concerning risk, risk-related factors and risk perceptions among risk assessors, risk managers, risk communicators, the general public and other interested parties.
means the process of identifying, selecting and implementing measures that can be applied to reduce the level of risk.
means a measure, such as those described in various chapters of the Aquatic Code, destined to protect aquatic animal or human health or life within the territory of the Member Country from risks arising from the entry, establishment and/or spread of a hazard.
self-declaration of freedom from disease
means declaration by the Competent Authority of the Member Country concerned that the country, zone or compartment is free from a listed disease based on implementation of the provisions of the Aquatic Code and the Aquatic Manual. [NOTE: The Member Country is encouraged to inform the OIE of its claimed status and the OIE may publish the claim but publication does not imply OIE endorsement of the claim.]
means the proportion of true positive tests given in a diagnostic test, i.e. the number of true positive results divided by the number of true positive and false negative results.
means the probability that absence of infection will be correctly identified by a diagnostic test, i.e. the number of true negative results divided by the number of true negative and false positive results.
means the carrying out under the authority of the Competent Authority, on confirmation of a disease, of preventive aquatic animal health measures, consisting of killing the aquatic animals that are affected, those suspected of being affected in the population and those in other populations that have been exposed to infection by direct or indirect contact of a kind likely to cause the transmission of the pathogenic agent. All these aquatic animals, vaccinated or unvaccinated, on an infected site should be killed and the carcasses destroyed by burning or burial, or by any other method that will eliminate the spread of infection through the carcasses or products of the aquatic animals destroyed.
This policy should be accompanied by cleansing and disinfection procedures as defined in the Aquatic Code. Fallowing should be for an appropriate period determined by risk assessment.
means the population from which surveillance data are derived. This may be the same as the target population or a subset of it.
means a distinct part of a population identifiable in accordance with specific common aquatic animal health characteristics.
means a systematic series of investigations of a given population of aquatic animals to detect the occurrence of disease for control purposes, and which may involve testing samples of a population.
means a species of aquatic animal in which infection has been demonstrated by the occurrence of natural cases or by experimental exposure to the pathogenic agent that mimics natural transmission pathways.
means, for the purposes of demonstrating freedom from infection, the population of interest, usually made up of all aquatic animals of species susceptible to a specified pathogenic agent in a defined country, zone or aquaculture establishment.
means surveillance targeted at a specific disease or infection.
means land and water under jurisdiction of a country.
means a country through which aquatic animals, aquatic animal products, biological products or pathological material destined for an importing country, are transported or in which a stopover is made at a frontier post.
means individually identifiable elements. This is a generic concept used to describe, for example, the members of a population, or the elements selected when sampling. In these contexts, examples of units include individual animals, ponds, nets, cages, farms, villages, districts, etc.
means any method of transport by land, air or water.
means a person with appropriate education, registered or licensed by the relevant veterinary statutory body of a country to practise veterinary medicine/science in that country.
means the Governmental Authority of a Member Country, comprising veterinarians, other professionals and para-professionals, having the responsibility and competence for ensuring or supervising the implementation of aquatic animal health and welfare measures, international aquatic animal health certification and other standards and recommendations in the Aquatic Code in the whole territory.
veterinary statutory body
means an autonomous authority regulating veterinarians and veterinary para-professionals.
means an area or basin of land bounded by natural features such as hills or mountains, into which all run-off water flows.
means a portion of one or more countries comprising:
an entire water catchment from the source of a waterway to the estuary or lake, or
more than one water catchment, or
part of a water catchment from the source of a waterway to a barrier that prevents the introduction of a specific disease or diseases, or
part of a coastal area with a precise geographical delimitation, or
an estuary with a precise geographical delimitation,
that consists of a contiguous hydrological system with a distinct health status with respect to a specific disease or diseases. The zones must be clearly documented (e.g. by a map or other precise locators such as GPS co-ordinates) by the Competent Authority(ies).
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