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Health Status of Aquatic Animals

Since 1970, Denmark has had an official disease surveillance programme on all fish farms in the country. Since EU legislation on animal health of aquaculture animals was introduced in 1991 with Council Directive 91/67/EC, which was revised by Council Directive 2006/88/EC, the surveillance programme has been conducted according to the provisions laid down in the EU legislation.

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

The categorisation system of aquaculture animals' health status are 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 Denmark is in the final stages of eradicating VHS. The present Danish eradication programme for the eradication of VHS, which began in 2009 and was expected to be completed by the end of 2013, was approved by the European Union and is co-financed by the European Fisheries Fund. The freshwater trout farms are either approved free of VHS (category I) by the European Union (Commission Decision 2009/177/EC) or included in the surveillance programme (category II) that is part of the approved eradication programme. All marine fish farms has an undetermined health status (category III) because wild fish carrying marine VHS types are present in Danish marine environment.
  • Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN): IHN has never been reported in Denmark, and the whole territory is approved as free of IHN (category I) by the European Union (Commission Decision 2009/177/EC).
  • Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA):  HPR-deleted ISAV 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 and has so far registered 36 IPN-free fish farms (category I compartments). Most of these farms are situated along small river systems, whose water source is mainly well water or borehole water. 21 of the 36 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): Denmark (whole territory) is approved as free of SVC by the European Union (Commission Decision 2010/221/EC). There are only three carp farms in Denmark, and they are registered as free of SVC (category I). These three farms are closed systems for production of common carp, and no introductions have been made for decades. SVC has never been reported in Danish carp farms, but has occasionally been detected in imported ornamental carps. The last occurrence was in 2003. 
  • 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. The last occurrence was in September 2011. 
​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 
On February 18 an infection with Infectious Salmon Anemia virus ISAV- HPR0 was confirmed in Denmark.
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.

The detection of Infectious salmon anemia virus serotype HPRO was done in one wild caught Atlantic salmon (Salmon salar) in a facility for restoration of wild stock. The salmon was caught in the river “Gudenåen”. 
The fish has been destroyed and the relevant parts of the facility have been cleaned and disinfected.
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Last Modified 25. February 2019