Fish Health Inspectorate Service Charter

Details of the fish health inspectorate service charter.

What we do

Our main objective is to prevent the introduction and spread of listed and emerging fish and shellfish diseases in Scotland. We do this by undertaking statutory inspection and sampling programmes, implementing statutory control measures and providing advice to stakeholders in accordance with the current aquaculture and aquatic animal health regulations.  

The advice and regulation we provide is backed by high quality research and is delivered with wider collaboration within the Marine Directorate, when and where necessary. 

Find out more about what we do 

  • we prevent the introduction and spread of listed and emergingfish and shellfish diseasesin Scotland. More information about fish and shellfish diseases of particular significance in Scotland, listed diseases and disease management area maps can be found online on our diseases of fish, crustaceans and molluscs pages
  • we minimise and prevent the spread of disease through encouraging good biosecurity and disinfection. The disinfection guide version IV and more information about biosecurity measures plans (BMPs) can be found on our online biosecurity and disinfection pages.
  • we restrict the movement of fish and shellfishif a listed disease is suspected. A list of all active confirmed designation notices (CDNs) in Scotland together with a map of their locations and the permission to move fish application form can be found on our online movement restrictions on fish and shellfish pages.  
  • we authorise and registeraquaculture business in Scotland. More information about authorisation and registration as well as application forms and guidance can be found on our online authorisation and registration pages.  
  • we ensure that early detection of disease is possible through asurveillance programme. More information on our surveillance programme as well as the information we gather and an overview of the health status of fish and shellfish disease in Scotland can be found on our online surveillance programme pages.  
  • we ensure fish farmers are aware of the reporting requirements regarding fish farm escapes under regulation 31D of The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009. Details of what to do in the event of an escape can be found on our online fish farm escapes pages. 
  • we control theimport and export of fish and shellfishto prevent the spread of disease. For more information about importing and exporting live aquatic animals into and out of Scotland together with contact details please visit our online imports and exports pages.
  • we undertake sampling under The Animal and Animal Products (Examination for Residues and Maximum Residue Limits) Regulations 2015, as amended, and in accordance with Regulation 32 of the Veterinary Medicine Regulations on behalf of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. Fish Health Inspectors have powers to: 
  • inspect fish farm medicine records 
  • take samples from farmed fish for veterinary medicines residue testing 
  • investigate any positive results 

Fish health inspectors are appointed by the Scottish Ministers to act as inspectors and veterinary inspectors under fish and shellfish health legislation. This legislation includes: 

  • The Animal and Animal Products (Examination for Residues and Maximum Residue Limits) Regulations 2015 
  • The Trade in Animals and Related Products (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (as amended) 

Fish health inspectors may also carryout measures to prevent the spread of disease set out in: 

  • Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967. 

Additional information sources 

Additional information can be obtained from a number of reports, surveys and Topic Sheets located under the Scottish Government Publications pages. The website contains more details of diseases and controls, listed diseases and advice and data. Copies of many of the publications can be provided free of charge from the Scottish Government Library. 

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