Disease prompts ban on movement of 28 fish species

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Ohio Agriculture Director Robert Boggs recently issued a proclamation extending the emergency order issued in May 2007, that prohibits the intrastate transportation, sale or distribution of 28 fish species susceptible to Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) out of the affected region in northern Ohio.

VHS is a fish disease that must be reported to the Ohio Department of Agriculture under state law. The disease was introduced into the wild fish population by an invasive species. It is not harmful to humans or other animals.

Testing to date performed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory has revealed that VHS is not present inland in Ohio. The department will continue to test and monitor for the disease.

Affected areas

Ohio’s ban prohibits intrastate distribution of VHS-susceptible fish or eggs out of the area in Ohio north of U.S. Highway 6 from the Indiana border to the intersection of U.S. Highway 6 and Interstate 90 near Fremont, continuing on Interstate 90 to the Pennsylvania border.

This also includes the Sandusky River south of U.S. Highway 6 to the Ballville Dam.

VHS-susceptible fish include: Black crappie, bluegill, bluntnose minnow, brown bullhead, brown trout, burbot, channel catfish, Chinook salmon, emerald shiner, freshwater drum, gizzard shad, lake whitefish, largemouth bass, muskellunge, shorthead redhorse, northern pike, pumpkinseed, rainbow trout, rock bass, round goby, silver redhorse, smallmouth bass, spottail shiner, trout-perch, walleye, white bass, white perch and yellow perch.

Duration

The prohibition is in effect in Ohio until the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s division of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service releases its embargo and prohibition of the movement of live VHS-susceptible fish.

The prohibition does not apply to live fish or eggs removed directly from production facilities that have tested negative for VHS. It also excludes live fish or eggs that are being transported for use by research scientists in closed research facilities with diagnostic laboratories.

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