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Health Status of Aquatic Animals

Since 1970, Denmark has had an official disease surveillance program on all fish farms in the country. In 1991 EU legislation on animal health of aquaculture animals was introduced with Council Directive 91/67/EC, as amended by Council Directive 2006/88/EC. The surveillance program has been conducted according to the EU legislation since its entering into force.

​In connection with the implementation of Council Directive 2006/88/EC, all Danish fish farms was categorised according to the provisions in the directive by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.. 

The categorisation system of health status of aquaculture animals is as described in the table below.


 Category   Status
I  Disease free
II  Surveillance programme  
III  Undetermined
IV  Eradication programme
V  Infected

Denmark has the the health status for the following diseases:


  • Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS): The last outbreak of VHS in Denmark was confirmed in January 2009, and the whole continental territory of Denmark was approved as VHS-free by the European Union in 2013 (Commission Implementing Decision 2013/706/EU). The Danish programme for the eradication of VHS began in 2009 and ended in November 2013. The programme has been approved by the European Commission and was co-financed by the European Fisheries Fund. All freshwater trout farms are approved free from VHS (category I). All marine fish farms has an undetermined health status (category III).

  • Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN)Since 18. Maj 2021, infection with IHN has been confirmed in six holdings producing mainly rainbow trouts and one put and take lake, all located in Jutland. On 2 June 2021, Denmark has suspended its disease-free status for IHN as a transitional measure until at least 23 June 2021. The suspension of IHN-free status has been extended to 16 July 2021. 

  • Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA):  Infection with HPR-deleted infectious salmon anaemia virus has never been reported in Denmark, and the whole territory is approved as free of ISA (category I) by the European Union (Commission Decision 2009/177/EC). NOTE: ISA is defined in the EU legislation as infection with genotype HPR-deleted of the genus Isa virus (ISAV).

  • Infectious Pancreas Necrosis (IPN): Since 1970, Denmark has conducted a voluntary IPN surveillance programme. In 2019, 26 freshwater fish farms were registered 36 as being IPN-free. Most of these farms are situated along small river systems, whose water source is mainly well water or borehole water. The majority of these IPN-free farms have brood stock and deliver eggs, fry and fingerlings to Danish trout farms as well as for export.

  • Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD): BKD has a low sporadic occurrence in Denmark. However, a few breeding and production farms are registered as BKD-free by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. 

  • Spring Viraemia of Carp (SVC): The last occurrence of spring viraemia of carp (SVC) in Denmark was in 2003. Denmark (whole territory) is approved free from SVC by the European Union (Commission Decision 2010/221/EU). SVC has never been reported in any Danish carp farms, but has occasionally been detected in imported ornamental carp with no access to natural waters. 

  • Koi Herpes Virus (KHV): KHV has never been reported in Danish carp farms, but has occasionally been detected in imported ornamental koi carps and in garden ponds with koi carps. In 2019, KHV was detected in three private garden ponds and at three importers of koi carps. 

​Application of 16 July 2013 for freedom of VHS in the Danish territory (the whole Danish continental area):

Infection with Infectious Salmon Anemia virus ISAV- HPR0 confirmed in Denmark 
In February 2019, Infection with HPR0 infectious salmon anaemia virus was detected in a wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in facility for restoration of wild stock in Randers Municipality. The salmon was caught in the river of Gudenåen. The fish and its eggs were destroyed, and the relevant parts of the facility was cleaned and disinfected.

There are two types of ISA viruses, HPR0 and HPR deleted. ISA virus HPR0 is a non-pathogenic genotype of the virus and is not covered by EU legislation Council Directive 2006/88/EC of 24 October 2006 on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals. Trade from Denmark to other EU countries is therefore not affected by the detection.
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Last Modified 4. August 2021