Notification of reportable and immediately notifiable diseases by researchers

Researchers working with aquatic animals (finfish, molluscs, and crustaceans) are required to notify the CFIA about reportable and immediately notifiable aquatic animal diseases if you are conducting studies using live or dead aquatic animals, or if testing for these diseases is conducted by your laboratory.

Amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations and Reportable Diseases Regulations were published in Canada Gazette Part II, on December 22, 2010, and January 5, 2011, respectively.

The requirements are as follows:

5. (1) A person who owns or has the possession, care or control of an animal shall notify the nearest veterinary inspector of the presence of a reportable disease or toxic substance, or any fact indicating its presence, in or around the animal, immediately after the person becomes aware of the presence or fact (Health of Animals Act).

5. (2) Immediately after a person who is a veterinarian or who analyzes animal specimens suspects that an animal is affected or contaminated by a reportable disease or toxic substance, the person shall so notify a veterinary inspector (Health of Animals Act).

91.2 (1) Every laboratory that diagnoses or suspects the appearance in an animal or thing of a disease set out in Schedule VII [Immediately Notifiable] shall notify the Minister immediately of the diagnosis or suspicion (Health of Animals Regulations).

91.2 (2) Along with that notification, the laboratory shall include
(a) the name, address and telephone number of the person who owns or has the possession, care or control of the animal or thing;
(b) the location of the animal or thing; and
(c) all other information that the laboratory has in relation to the animal or thing (Health of Animals Regulations).

If you suspect or detect (including cases of non-negative test results) a reportable or immediately notifiable aquatic animal disease, notify a veterinary inspector located at your nearest CFIA Animal Health Office, as soon as is reasonably possible.

Researchers are encouraged to develop a protocol to retain the original aquatic animal tissue specimens, especially if the specimens arise from wild aquatic animals, or their isolates of the causative agent of a reportable or immediately notifiable disease. The original tissue specimens may then be shipped to a Fisheries and Oceans Canada National Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory for further testing, if requested by a CFIA veterinary inspector.

The veterinary inspector may require additional information from you which may include:

  • scientific name of the animal,
  • life stage affected,
  • source of the animals, including contact information for the culturist (if applicable),
  • number of animals that may be affected,
  • disease history of the animals,
  • presence of signs of disease,
  • mortality numbers,
  • laboratory reports, and
  • laboratory biocontainment protocols.

The researcher must apply for a permit in order to import a regulated aquatic animal pathogen from another country.

The reportable aquatic animal diseases are:

Reportable Diseases
Disease Aquatic Animal
Bonamia ostreae Mollusc
Ceratomyxosis (Ceratomyxa shasta) Finfish
Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis Finfish
Haplosporidium nelsoni (MSX) Mollusc
Infectious haematopoietic necrosis Finfish
Infectious pancreatic necrosis Finfish
Infectious salmon anaemia Finfish
Koi herpesvirus disease Finfish
Marteilia refringens Mollusc
Marteiliodes chungmuensis Mollusc
Mikrocytos mackini (Denman Island Disease) Mollusc
Perkinsus marinus Mollusc
Perkinsus olseni Mollusc
Spring viraemia of carp Finfish
Taura syndrome Crustacean
Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia Finfish
Whirling disease (Myxobolus cerebralis) Finfish
White spot disease Crustacean
White sturgeon iridoviral disease Finfish
Yellow head disease Crustacean

More information is available on these Reportable Diseases.

The immediately notifiable diseases are:

Immediately Notifiable Diseases
Disease Aquatic Animal
Abalone viral mortality (Abalone herpes-like Virus) Mollusc
Bonamia exitiosa Mollusc
Bonamia roughleyi Mollusc
Brown ring disease (Vibrio tapetis) Mollusc
Crayfish plague (Aphanomyces astaci) Crustacean
Epizootic ulcerative syndrome (Aphanomyces invadans) Finfish
Gyrodactylosis (Gyrodactylus salaris) Finfish
Infectious hypodermal and haematopoietic necrosis (Infectious hypodermal and Haematopoietic necrosis virus) Crustacean
Infectious myonecrosis (Infectious myonecrosis virus) Crustacean
Marteilia sydneyi Mollusc
Necrotizing hepatopancreatitis Crustacean
Oncorhynchus masou virus disease
(Oncorhynchus masoudisease virus)
Red sea bream iridoviral disease (Red Sea bream iridovirus) Finfish
White tail disease (White tail virus) Crustacean
Withering syndrome of abalone (Xenohaliotis californiensis) Mollusc