BHP is the acronym given to a new initiative aimed at helping control the spread of Koi herpesvirus (KHV) within the US. The sponsoring and managing organization for this effort is Project KHV, a charitable committee formed in 2004 by the Associated Koi Clubs of America, a nation-wide umbrella group of over 100 Koi clubs.
The BHP has been designed and written by a group of aquatic animal health professionals. National release of the program is anticipated in the second quarter of 2009. The BHP will operate as follows: Independent veterinarians will contract with Koi dealerships to help implement the BHP's Essential Requirements. Compliant dealerships will be issued a certificate. The veterinarian will continue to verify the dealership's adherence to the Program by periodic site inspections and by requiring written Standard Operating Procedures that include ongoing and appropriate:
Regular reports on quarantine,
Immediate reporting of suspected KHV disease (KHVD), and
Corrective actions as required.
Certified dealers agree to quarantine all incoming Koi for a time and at a temperature necessary for active KHVD to be revealed. If no symptoms are observed, the fish are released for sale. If KHVD is suspected, the veterinarian directs and monitors the dealer's investigation and corrective action. If KHVD infected or exposed Koi are identified, they are destroyed and associated equipment is sanitized.
Any veterinarian who agrees to certify only Koi dealerships that meet the BHP's Essential Requirements will be allowed free use of the copyrighted basic program. An online course will also be available to those interested in becoming certifying veterinarians.
For Hobbyists, the advantages are obvious. For Dealers, the advantages include:
The BHP helps prevent KHVD from entering other portions of their facilities beyond quarantine,
Being proactive and adopting reasonable self-regulation may preclude or at least forestall mandatory government intervention into this problem,
It offers an opportunity to establish a working relationship with qualified veterinarians who can provide additional valuable fish-health advice and services, and
Dealers can favorably differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
It is important to note that the BHP does not certify any fish as being KHV free. It is a best management program designed to minimize the likelihood of a KHV-infected fish leaving a dealer's facility.
Conclusion: If Koi dealers are provided the proper information and are willing to take practical and necessary steps, the spread of KHV in this country can likely be significantly curtailed.
More information can be found at: http://www.akcaprojectkhv.org/