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Aquaculture Processing Establishment (APE)

Your legal obligation

The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009 requires all processing establishments involved in processing aquaculture animals slaughtered for disease control purposes to be authorised by the Scottish Ministers. The authorisation procedure will be undertaken on behalf of the Scottish Ministers by the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) based at the Marine Scotland, Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen.

The authorisation may be granted to a processing establishment, subject to such conditions that are considered appropriate. This will be done where the Scottish Ministers are satisfied that the operation of the establishment will not lead to an unacceptable risk of spreading disease.

APEs are required to maintain aquaculture animal and aquaculture animal product movement records and implement certain biosecurity measures to prevent the transmission of fish disease. As a minimum standard, the following points will be considered;

  • biosecurity measures implemented and instruction posted, in relation to biosecurity arrangements, on all routes of entry and exit from the site to prevent the transmission of fish disease
  • biosecurity measures implemented with regard to vehicular access to, from and within the processing establishment to prevent the transmission of fish disease
  • biosecurity measures implemented with regard to protective clothing and site equipment to prevent the transmission of fish disease
  • biosecurity measures implemented with regard to processing facility effluent to prevent the transmission of fish disease
  • biosecurity measures implemented with regard to processing establishment’s solid waste to prevent the transmission of fish disease
  • demonstration of the effectiveness of each disinfection point or hygiene station to ensure that adequate biosecurity is maintained
  • appropriate procedures to ensure that fish displaying clinical signs or gross pathology of disease are removed prior to processing and disposed of in an appropriate manner
  • contingency plans to deal with a breach of the biosecurity systems are in place at the processing establishment, and
  • procedures for the immediate notification of the Scottish Ministers in the event of a breach in biosecurity at the processing facility

APEs are required to apply for authorisation prior to any processing of aquaculture animals slaughtered for disease control purposes.

An internet-based register of all Authorised Processing Establishments (APEs) in Scotland is available.