Uniform jurisdiction for aquatic veterinary and animal health programs

​Multiple government agency jurisdiction and oversight for aquatic animal health and diseases duplicates efforts, creates confusion and ambiguity for veterinarians, producers, other stakeholders and regulatory agencies, and is seriously hampering the progress of developing a strong, progressive and sustainable U.S. aquaculture industry.

Given the large number of endemic and foreign aquatic animal diseases that require prevention, control and eradication programs at both State and National levels, the American Veterinary Medical Association strongly supports legislation and regulations that are under the authority of a single agency, preferably that agency that regulates livestock diseases. 

With the passage of the Animal Health Protection Act (that provided USDA-APHIS with authority for regulating all farmed animal diseases), the refinement of the National Veterinary Accreditation Program (that now addresses APHIS regulatory programs for aquatic animal health and disease), the need to meet the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) standards laid out by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and to assist the full implementation of the National Aquatic Animal Health Plan, the AVMA therefore strongly encourages, and will work with, APHIS and appropriate State agencies to implement uniform regulations to support the growth of aquaculture, and to address optimal aquatic animal health and disease prevention, control and eradication regulations and programs.