Page 0054

Appendix 1

RSPCA welfare standards for farmed Atlantic salmon 47 September 2015

* indicates an amendment

Part A: VHWP guidelines on fish health

Pete Southgate BvetMed MSc MRCVS, Fish Vet Group veterinary surgeons

The VHWP is a document which is developed by the farm personnel and their veterinary surgeons to

encompass all areas of fish health and welfare. It attempts to identify and define areas of management

and husbandry where agreed activities and protocols are aimed at best practice for the maintenance and

improvement of the stock health status and welfare. It should set out objectives and aspirations which are

regularly reviewed and updated.

See RSPCA welfare standard - H 1.1

The VHWP must cover six key areas:

1. Biosecurity.

2. General management.

3. Disease and physical injury - control and monitoring.

4. Training.

5. Major common diseases.

6. Classification of causes of death.

Maximising fish health and welfare is the overall aspiration of the VHWP.

1. Biosecurity

See RSPCA welfare standard - M 3.5

Appropriate and effective biosecurity measures must be in place to minimise the introduction of new

infectious agents into the farm. These measures should address the following areas:

 disease examination and certification of ova and fish prior to stocking

 visitors and vehicle movements

 staff sanitation

 movement of equipment and staff between sites

 stock separation, isolation, sanitary and hygiene procedures between working areas

 sanitation of fixed and movable equipment

 day-to-day cleaning/disinfection and terminal disinfection of buildings, equipment, enclosures

and nets.

Fish movements

It is recognised that biosecurity may be difficult in some cases e.g. open sea enclosure sites, where

isolation of stocks from potential pathogens from the environment is impossible, but these risks must be

recognised and minimised as far as possible e.g. by separation of year class stocks, appropriate fallowing

and site selection.

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