Issuing Certificates of Inspection for Aquatic Animals

Comment on this policy

The AVMA recognizes the importance and encourages the development of uniform criteria for certificates of inspection attesting to the health of aquatic animals that can be used for certifying their disease status for intrastate, interstate and international movement.

Issuance of certificates of inspection attesting to the health of aquatic animals requires a veterinarian's clinical evaluation of the animals, interpretation of diagnostic assays, and the veterinarian signing declarations that require knowledge of all factors used to determine the disease status of the animals. Therefore, the AVMA's position is that certificates of inspection attesting to the health of aquatic animals should only be issued by federal or state-employed veterinarians, or USDA accredited veterinarians.

The AVMA recognizes that the involvement of non-veterinarians in producing information such as diagnostic assay results is necessary for issuing these certificates and encourages systems that integrate veterinary and non-veterinary participation in these important roles. The AVMA will therefore actively work with local, state and federal agencies, aquaculture industry representatives, and others to ensure the optimal roles of all personnel in the development and issuance of such certificates.