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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Aquaculture animals & products — health rules

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Aquaculture animals & products — health rules

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 2006/88/EC — health requirements for aquaculture animals and products, and prevention and control of diseases in aquatic animals

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS DIRECTIVE DO?

  • It sets out:
    • animal health requirements for the sale, import or transit of aquaculture animals (farmed fish and shellfish);
    • minimum measures to increase general awareness and prevent disease;
    • minimum measures in the event of a suspected, or established, outbreak of disease.

KEY POINTS

  • EU countries’ national authorities must ensure that each fish farm is authorised.
  • To receive their authorisation, fish farms must:
    • keep records of all fish and shellfish moved into and out of the premises;
    • demonstrate high standards of hygiene;
    • operate a risk-based animal health surveillance scheme to detect diseases and any increased levels of mortality.
  • National authorities must maintain an up-to-date and publicly available register of authorised fish farms.
  • The legislation sets out a list of diseases and the species susceptible to them.
  • Disease prevention measures must be in place when aquaculture animals are transported.
  • Farmed fish and shellfish must be healthy. They require an animal health certificate when offered for sale.
  • Imported fish and shellfish must comply with EU animal health requirements. The EU may decide to inspect the farms they come from.
  • Fish farm owners and vets must immediately report any increase in mortality or suspicions of a disease to the relevant authority.
  • National authorities must notify other EU countries and the European Commission as well as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein within 24 hours of a disease being confirmed.
  • If a disease is suspected, control measures are taken, such as conducting laboratory tests and placing the farm in quarantine.
  • When a disease is confirmed, the authorities:
    • officially declare the farm is infected;
    • establish a containment area, with protection and surveillance zones;
    • ban the restocking and movement of the fish and shellfish.
  • EU countries must satisfy specific requirements before being given disease-free status.
  • Commission experts, accompanied by national officials, may carry out on-the-spot inspections.
  • National authorities may take more stringent measures if they wish.
  • The legislation does not apply to fish or shellfish
    • for ornamental purposes,
    • caught in the wild or
    • destined to be processed into fishmeal, fish feed, oil or similar products.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

It entered into force on 14 December 2006. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 1 May 2008.

BACKGROUND

See ‘Aquaculture’ on the European Commission’s website.

ACT

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 (OJ L 328, 24.11.2006, pp. 14–56)

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2006/88/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Decision 2008/392/EC of 30 April 2008 implementing Council Directive 2006/88/EC as regards an Internet-based information page to make information on aquaculture production businesses and authorised processing establishments available by electronic means (OJ L 138, 28.5.2008, pp. 12–20)

Commission Decision 2010/221/EU of 15 April 2010 approving national measures for limiting the impact of certain diseases in aquaculture animals and wild aquatic animals in accordance with Article 43 of Council Directive 2006/88/EC (OJ L 98, 20.4.2010, pp. 7–11). See consolidated version.

last update 23.05.2016

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