The Government has announced a plan to widen the range of fish species identified as being a vector for, or susceptible to, notifiable diseases. It therefore plans to add more species to the GB susceptible and vector species (SVS) lists, including zebrafish (Danio rerio).

The Government is asking for comments on its proposed new listing after adding a number of new species to disease listings. If a species is added to the GB SVS lists:

  • Trade in that species may be subject to additional animal health restrictions. For example, an official inspector in the exporting country may need to certify that the animal originates from an area that is free from the disease(s) they are listed for or, in the case of wild aquatic animals, has been subject to quarantine.
  • There will be implications in the event of a disease outbreak. For example, movement controls and trade restrictions are likely to be applied to susceptible and vector species.

What’s proposed will mean changes for the ornamental aquatics industry, with more species added to Susceptible Vector Species Lists (SVS). One notable inclusion is zebrafish (Danio rerio) which will be added to GB’s susceptible species lists for VHS and spring viraemia of carp (SVC). It is expected the changes will be added on 31 May 2024.

The Government is keen to hear comments on its proposed changes and you can read more about the consultation here. OATA will be collating a response. We have extracted from the Government’s list those species that we believe are likely to be in the ornamental trade – see left.

These species have been subject to high levels of scientific scrutiny by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) so it is unlikely their listing can be avoided. However, if we can demonstrate that controls on some specific species may result in significant business impacts we may be able to make a case for more proportionate application of controls in order to mitigate those impacts.

Therefore we’re asking businesses to answer the following questions by Friday 8 March.

  1. In the list on the left we have extracted relevant ornamental species but have we missed any species present in the ornamental trade for the full list being proposed (find it here)?
  2. What is the annual financial value of each species to your business?
  3. By your best estimation, what do you think the annual financial cost of new controls will be on your business?
  4. What other potential business impacts do you foresee as a result of these species being listed?

All responses will be treated in confidence and your answers can be sent to OATA at

Proposed new susceptible and vector ornamental species of notifiable diseases

Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis (EHN)
Gambusia affinis (mosquito fish)
Gambusia holbrooki (eastern mosquito fish)
Melanotaenia fluviatilis (crimson spotted rainbow fish)

Mogurnda adspersa (purple spotted gudgeon)
Tananus tandanus (freshwater catfish)

Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS)
Danio rerio (zebrafish)
Fundulus heteroclitus (mummichog)
Gasterosteus aculeatus (three spine stickleback)
Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow)

Ammodytes personatus (sandeel)
Oryzias latipes (Japanese rice fish)

Infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN)
Acipenser transmontanus (white sturgeon)

Infection with Gyrodactylus salaris
Other species of fish shall also be considered as susceptible species when in contact with species listed as susceptible through co-habitation or through water supply

Koi herpes virus (KHV)
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii (Russian sturgeon)
Acipenser oxyrinchus (Atlantic sturgeon)
Acipenser ruthenus × Huso huso (hybrid sterlet × beluga)
Anodonta cygnea (swan mussel)
Carassius auratus (goldfish)
Carassius carassius (crucian carp)
Ctenopharyngodon idella (grass carp)
Gammarus pulex (scud crustacean)
Leuciscus idus (Orfe)
Rutilus rutilus (roach)
Tinca tinca (tench)

Spring viraemia of carp (SVC)
Danio rerio (zebrafish)
Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow)
Rutilus rutilus (roach)

Infection with Bonamia ostreae
Actina equina (beadlet anemone)

Infection with Perkinus marinus
Macrobrachium rosenbergi (giant river prawn)
Palinurus spp (spiny lobsters) 

Taura syndrome
Fundulus grandis (Gulf killifish)
Uca sp

Yellow head virus
Cherax quadricarinatus (red claw crayfish)
Fundulus grandis (Gulf killifish)

(Decapod) White spot disease
Haliotis discus hannai (Ezo abalone)
Halitois tuerculata (terbulate abalone)
Octopus vulgaris (octopus)
Strombus spp. (stromboid conchs)