HC Deb 20 December 1989 vol 164 cc346-7W
Mr. Couchman

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he proposes to take to prevent the introduction of the fish disease, infectious salmon anaemia; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer

Infectious salmon anaemia (or infectious laxanaemia) is a viral disease of salmon which causes high mortalities in farmed fish and for which there is no known effective treatment. It may be spread by the movement of live fish and can be carried in the viscera of salmon carcasses. It has been found only in Norway where a number of farms are now infected.

We already prohibit imports into Great Britain of all live fish of the salmon family. The importation of dead, ungutted fish is also generally prohibited save, under an exemption licence, from the Irish Republic, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Norway.

As a further safeguard, and in view of the serious nature of infectious salmon anaemia and its establishment in Norway, we have decided to modify the exemption licence so that ungutted salmon and trout may not be imported from Norway. This prohibition will take effect on 25 December and will be until further notice.

As an additional precautionary measure, we have decided that infectious salmon anaemia will be made a notifiable disease throughout Great Britain in accordance with the terms of the Diseases of Fish Act 1937.