Starting back in 2002, as part of our business plan, we decided to voluntarily take steps to make our 2 farms “Bio-Secure”. You can view all of our USDA Health certificates here.
Definition of Bio-security as stated on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosecurity
Animal bio-security is the product of all actions undertaken by an entity to prevent introduction of disease agents into a specific area. Animal bio-security differs from bio-security which are measures taken to reduce the risk of infectious agent theft and dispersal by means of bio-terrorism. Animal bio-security is a comprehensive approach, encompassing different means of prevention and containment. A critical element in animal bio-security, bio-containment, is the control of disease agents already present in a particular area, and works to prevent novel transmissions. Animal bio-security may protect organisms from infectious agents or noninfectious agents such as toxins or pollutants, and can be executed in areas as large as a nation or as small as a local farm. Animal bio-security takes into account the epidemiological triad for disease occurrence: the individual host, the disease and the environment in contributing to disease susceptibility.
It aims to improve nonspecific immunity of the host to resist the introduction of an agent, or limit the risk that an agent will be sustained in an environment at adequate levels. Bio-containment, an element of animal bio-security, works to improve specific immunity towards already present pathogens. Bio-security means the prevention of the illicit use of pathogenic bio-organisms by laboratory staff or others. Bio-safety means the protection of laboratory staff from being infected by pathogenic bio-organisms.
At Blackwater Creek Koi Farms, Inc. We have had the following Bio-Security protocols in place, since 2002, which protect our operations from any possible external contamination.
- All our farms are closed to the general public
- We do not mingle fish from one farm to another
- Once a fish leaves one of our facilities, IT IS NEVER ALLOWED BACK! That means even if we take a fish to a show, and it wins a ribbon, It is sold or given away!
- We do not import any Koi or Goldfish
- We do not buy Koi or Goldfish from Brokers
- We do not buy Koi or Goldfish from other Koi Farms
- Every year we voluntarily submit to USDA testing. To see the results click here.
- We have ample Koi or Goldfish brood stock dispersed throughout our 3 farms, so if disaster strikes one, we can still produce Koi and Goldfish at the other two
- All of our ponds and tanks are isolated from each other
- We utilize the deep Florida Aquifer water at all 3 farms, no “treated” city or surface water is ever used
We know the blood lines of our Koi and Goldfish (we can say with some certainty how our Koi or Goldfish will turn out as they mature). We know our fish are disease-free and put our name on the line in saying that they are strong, healthy fish that have not been compromised by being exposed to any exotic diseases
It is paramount to us to ensure that ALL of our fish are SVCv free and pose no biological threat to any Koi hobbyist’s pond or retailer’s fish stock.
From the www.aphis.usda.gov/focusonfish/biosecurity.php
One of the best things you can do as a producer to help prevent disease is to follow good bio-security practices. Bio-security involves a few basic steps:
- Prevent entry of infected fish or contaminated water. This means you should purchase fish stock from reputable sources.
- If you are using surface waters, be certain to screen the intake flows.
- Remove dead or sick fish as soon as possible.
- Clean and disinfect equipment and fish transport vehicles. This includes buckets, nets and footwear. Use disinfectant to clean items, rinse and allow them to thoroughly dry before reuse.
- Use infection control measures, such as foot dips and frequent hand washing, after contact with fish or fish production areas.
- Do not share equipment between sites or areas of the farm.
- Have dedicated equipment for lots of fish or clean and disinfect equipment between lots.
- Fish preying birds pose low risk, but may carry infected fish between water sources.