batch testing, if suitable methods
become available.” As such, methods currently are available. This
statement, plus the rest of the descriptive paragraph that accompa-nies it, is pretty meaningless and
of no practical, immediate value.
Other aspects of the document
are controversial or, at least, open
to doubt, but Australia is set to go
ahead, whether exporting CAs or
Australian importers like it or not.
This is the perfect formula for a
disastrous introduction of legislation of such importance to both
sides of the industry.
Significantly, the measures
are going ahead despite the fact
that there never has been a serious outbreak of gourami iridovirus in native Australian fish in
waterways due to the importation of aquarium fish.
In addition, it’s worth highlighting that the new requirements are the end result of a
long period of deliberation and
often heated exchanges that began in 2003 when there was an
outbreak of gourami iridovirus
in a Murray cod (an important
food fish) farm that killed many
young fish. This outbreak was
linked to the illegal practice of
feeding gouramis to the Murray
cod broodstock under exceptional environmental conditions that
put them under undue stress.
It also is worth noting that the
disease disappeared without government intervention, that it did
not escape into the environment,
and that it hasn’t been seen again,
either in Murray cod farms or any
Australian wild fish populations
since 2003. ■
To access the full text of the Certification Procedures, visit the Ornamental
Finfish page of agriculture.gov.au. The
relevant document appears at the top
of the list labeled Import Risk Analysis
for Ornamental Finfish.
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