Aquatic Animal Health Code

Contents | Index Glossary SECTION 1. Chapter 1.2.

Chapter 1.1.

Notification of diseases, and provision of epidemiological information

Article 1.1.1.

For the purposes of the Aquatic Code and in terms of Articles 5, 9 and 10 of the OIE Organic Statutes, every Member Country of the OIE shall recognise the right of the Headquarters to communicate directly with the Competent Authority of its territory or territories.

All notifications and all information sent by the OIE to the Competent Authority shall be regarded as having been sent to the country concerned and all notifications and all information sent to the OIE by the Competent Authority shall be regarded as having been sent by the country concerned.

Article 1.1.2.

  1. Member Countries shall make available to other Member Countries, through the OIE, whatever information is necessary to minimise the spread of important diseases of aquatic animals and their pathogenic agents and to assist in achieving better world-wide control of these diseases.

  2. To achieve this, Member Countries shall comply with the notification requirements specified in Articles 1.1.3. and 1.1.4.

  3. To assist in the clear and concise exchange of information, reports shall conform as closely as possible to the current OIE disease reporting format.

  4. The detection of the pathogenic agent of a listed disease in an aquatic animal should be reported, even in the absence of clinical signs. Recognising that scientific knowledge concerning the relationship between pathogenic agents and clinical disease is constantly developing and that the presence of an infectious agent does not necessarily imply the presence of clinical disease, Member Countries shall ensure through their reports that they comply with the spirit and intention of point 1 above.

  5. In addition to notifying findings in accordance with Article 1.1.3. and 1.1.4., Member Countries shall also provide information on the measures taken to prevent the spread of diseases. Information shall include possible quarantine measures and restrictions on the movement of aquatic animals, aquatic animal products, biological products and other miscellaneous objects which could by their nature be responsible for transmission of disease. In the case of diseases transmitted by vectors, the measures taken against such vectors shall also be specified.

Article 1.1.3.

The Competent Authority shall, under the responsibility of the Delegate, send to the Headquarters of the OIE:

  1. in accordance with relevant provisions in the disease-specific chapters, notification, through the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) or by fax or e-mail within 24 hours of any of the following events:

    1. first occurrence of a listed disease in a country, a zone or a compartment;

    2. re-occurrence of a listed disease in a country, a zone or a compartment following the final report that declared the outbreak ended;

    3. first occurrence of a new strain of a pathogenic agent of a listed disease in a country, a zone or a compartment;

    4. a sudden and unexpected change in the distribution or increase in incidence or virulence of, or morbidity or mortality caused by the pathogenic agent of a listed disease, present within a country, a zone or a compartment;

    5. occurrence of a listed disease in a new host species.

    In deciding whether findings justify immediate notification (within 24 hours), Member Countries must ensure that they comply with the obligations of Chapters  5.1. and 5.2. (especially Article 5.1.1.), to report developments that may have implications for international trade;

  2. weekly reports subsequent to a notification under point 1 above, to provide further information on the evolution of the event which justified the notification. These reports should continue until the disease has been eradicated or the situation has become sufficiently stable so that six-monthly reporting under point 3 will satisfy the obligation of the Member Country to the OIE; for each event notified, a final report on the event should be submitted;

  3. six-monthly reports on the absence or presence and evolution of listed diseases and information of epidemiological significance to other Member Countries;

  4. annual reports concerning any other information of significance to other Member Countries.

Article 1.1.4.

Competent Authorities shall, under the responsibility of the Delegate, send to the Headquarters:

  1. a notification through WAHIS or by fax or e-mail, when an emerging disease has been detected in a country, a zone or a compartment;

  2. periodic reports subsequent to a notification of an emerging disease, as described under point 1. These should continue until:

    1. the disease has been eradicated; or

    2. the situation becomes sufficiently stable; or

    3. sufficient scientific information is available to determine whether it meets the criteria for listing.

Article 1.1.5.

  1. The Competent Authority of a country in which an infected zone or compartment was located shall inform the Headquarters when this zone or compartment is free from the disease.

  2. An infected zone or compartment for a particular disease shall be considered as such until a period exceeding the infective period specified in the Aquatic Code has elapsed after the last reported case and when full prophylactic and appropriate aquatic animal health measures have been applied to prevent possible reappearance or spread of the disease. These measures will be found in detail in various disease-specific chapters of the Aquatic Code.

  3. A Member Country may be considered to regain freedom from a specific disease when all relevant conditions given in the Aquatic Code have been fulfilled.

  4. The Competent Authority of a Member Country which sets up one or several free zones or free compartments shall inform the Headquarters, giving necessary details, including the criteria on which the free status is based, the requirements for maintaining the status and indicating clearly the location of the zones or compartments on a map of the territory of the Member Country.

Article 1.1.6.

  1. Although Member Countries are only required to notify listed diseases, and emerging diseases, they are encouraged to inform the OIE of other important aquatic animal health events.

  2. The Headquarters shall communicate by e-mail or World Animal Health Information Database (WAHID) to Competent Authorities all notifications received as provided in Articles 1.1.2. to 1.1.5. and other relevant information.

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Contents | Index Glossary Chapter 1.2.