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Braddo

Iridovirus

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Hi there,

There's a lot of trouble on the horizon.

ACT NOW or KISS YOUR BUSINESS AWAY!!!!!!!!

This will be the first of many emails. Please read, forward, and tell everyone in our industry.

This is a letter from Norm Halliwell. Norm is a respected shop owner and enthusiast in Sydney. I have used his letter as he best explains what AQIS and Biosecurity have planned for the aquarium Industry.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.

The Iridovirus investigation that start around 2008, has just been

handed down by the Bureaucrats in Canberra, last Friday 23/7/10 and

the report has recommended that ALL CICHLIDS, ALL LIVEBEARERS and ALL

GOURAMI species including Paradise Fish a distant relative of

Gouramis, will need to be "batch tested - post arrival" in Australia

for megalocytiviruses not known to exist in Australia, in other words

"EXOTIC" to Australia. These idiots are so insane, that there is no

test for megalocytiviruses known to exist anywhere in the World, which

they have acknowledged in their final report, but they said a PCR

tests will suffice for these tests.

This final report gives members of the Industry until 23/8/10 to

respond to this final report, when they have taken almost three years

to complete the task. They state that they have taken into

consideration all the responses from the Industry and elsewhere, but

have still come up to the same conclusion.

This has the potential to wipe out the Industry, OR dramatically

increase the price of all species they are batch-testing, simply

because of a so-called theoretical risk to our environment, when

nothing can be further from the truth.

To get a 95% assurity of any species having any of these viruses,

quarantine would need to remove 6 species from each batch of

livebearers, cichlids, and goramis, and charge the Importers for the

cost of doing these tests. So if an Importers imports 20 different

colour variants of live bearers, 10 different cichlids species

imported and 15 different batches of gouramis and paradise species,

then the importer would be up for 45 x the costs of each test,

currently valued at $200-250 per test, so you can work it out for

yourself what that will cost, and subsequently all those imports will

escalate in price that will just about prevent them from being sold in

the Industry, or severely curtail the sales of those species

altogether. Can you imagine what that will cost importers of Discus

varieties, the mind "boggles".

If the authorities wants a 98% assurity then they will take 30% of any

batch of fish to get a 98% success rate. Just imagine what that would

do to the Industry!! THESE PEOPLE DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WHAT DAMAGE

THEY WILL DO TO AN INDUSTRY WORTH IN EXCESS OF $450 MILLION P.A.

Overseas suppliers to Australia from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong,

China, Germany and USA and the like are extremely upset that this is

being applied to Austrlia's Aquarium Industry, as they see it if it

gets accepted here that all Countries around the World will have the

same applied to them, that will ruin their Industry worldwide. That is

why PIAA and other major wholesalers are going to have to begin to

fight this proposal with legal representation and possibly Government

lobbying, to try and restrict the impact that this will have on these

batches of fish, as it will not stop with just these types of fish; it

will soon progress to other species eg, Tetras, Cyprinids, even the

lowly Goldfish varieties, etc. I will try to keep you all informed of

developments as they comes to hand.

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sucks if your an importer

rules if you are a local breeder.

sounds like I may even be able to sell me paradise fry for once lol

Might appear so in the short term but they will also be cracking down on aquaculture licenses, regulations and backyard breeders as well. There have also been numerous threads and discussions about this if you search (here and other forums too).

At best, fish prices will skyrocket. At worst, most fish will not be available any more. This is an indirect way of reducing the white list substantially. They will simply make it too expensive and unprofitable for importers to test fish batches.

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TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN WITH IMPORTING ORNAMENTAL FISH.

I am informing all readers of this email, that Biosecurity Australia has just finalized their draft on all imported Iridoviruses affecting all imported ornamental finfish in the varieties of all Cichlids, all Gouramis, and all Livebearers. They have had this on the watch for almost 3.5 years and have now released the final draft report to us on 23/7/10, and have given Industry until 23/8/10 to respond to their findings.

Their final report recommends that all Cichlids, all Gouramis, and all Livebearers as well as all Betta spp, and paradise fish species are also in the batch-testing procedures and each will have to be batch-tested post arrival in Australia for a group of so-called megalocytiviruses all on the species mentioned above, and yet, there is no test for megalocytiviruses anywhere in the world and these viruses are not on the O.I.E. register as diseases of quarantine concern. They currently use a PCR test to determine if any imported species mentioned above have any of these megalocytiviruses attached to them. There is no mention in their very lengthy report about how much each batch would cost to be tested, but the old adage “user pays” will mean that the costs will be born by all Importers, and on every batch of the above mentioned species, not to mention the lose of the species removed for testing.

That is a big problem for all Importers and for everyone within the Aquarium Industry, BUT, that is not the major shock. The problem lies in the fact that there is a sliding scale of how many species are removed for testing from each batch of fish that is imported. If an Importer brings in 20 Discus varieties, or 20 Frontosa species (at a minimum of 12cm) then the authorities will take away and test 19 fish from each batch. If you bring in 50 of any of the fish species mentioned, they will take away 35, if 100, they will remove 45, just to name a few. THIS KIND OF IMPOST WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BE BORN BY ALL SMALLER AND EVEN SOME LARGER IMPORTERS. If you want details log onto the following site, then scroll down until you see Appendix 5 where the sliding scale of batch-tested removal is shown. The site is www.daff.gov.au/ba/ira/current-animal/o ... al_finfish

If this comes into being, there will be no imports of any Cichlid varieties as the cost would be too exorbitant for any Importer, and that would presumably include the two biggest Importers. So, in its application there will probably be no imports of Discus, Frontosa, Featherfins, Tropheus, Apistogramma, Neolamprologus or any dwarf cichlids for that matter, and just about all smaller operators will close their doors due to such heavy handed approach to our Industry by Biosecurity Australia. This is not the “slim edge of the wedge” it is the “thick edge of the wedge”, and could just about ruin this Industry altogether that have been importing fish for over 100 years, and worth in excess of $450 million P.A.

The person from Biosecurity Australia that you need to contact is Dr. Ramesh Perrera and his email address is Ramesh.Perrera@biosecurity.gov.au and his telephone number is (02) 62724675 and you also need to send your responses to the Minister involved in this whole situation a Mr Tony Burke, and his email address is (now we are in election mode) Tony.Burke.MP@aph.gov.au in Canberra with his personnal email address being www.tonyburke.com.au and his office in Kingsgrove telephone no is (02) 95533800 and his fax no is (02) 95543504. You will need to send off emails, and faxes, and make telephone calls to these two people to make them aware of the damages that their Department (Biosecurity Australia) will do if these measures are implemented. These two people need to be aware of the very serious concern out in “the real world”, and how this will affect all Importers to Australia, and it is your livelihood that is in question here and your voice must be given to these people in order to get Biosecurity Australia to relent and come to the discussion table with Industry people so that a more reasonable outcome can be reached.

Dr. Perrera in discussions with him admitted that this would be devastating for the Aquarium Industry, but that he had a job to do and was going to follow through on the implementation of these batch-testing procedures, even though it may close the doors of a number of Importers “by the stroke of a pen”. He did state that these same principles were recently applied to the Prawn Industry, where they were going to ban the imports of all Prawns and Prawn Products for human consumption, but mainly for Bait, as it was the Bait prawns that go directly into the Wild that could cause outbreaks of IHHNV, White Spot and Yellow Head diseases in the Australian environment, and it could these diseases in the fledgling Prawn Industry in Australia, until the Prawn Importers sent specimens from a locally produced farm to an overseas scientific laboratory to test them for IHHNV, and the other diseases mentioned, and it was soon found that these diseases were already within Australian waterways, and farms.

The result was that once this information was supplied to Biosecurity Australia they soon backed off and did not go ahead with banning the import of Prawns and Prawn Products for both bait use and human consumption. The same will probably need to be done here in Australia, only there are a lot more species in our Industry that needs to be tested and quickly (with the operative word being quickly). Currently, at my latest update, is that PIAA our supposed Peak Industry Organisation, has applied for a lengthening of the time to respond cuurently listed as 23/8/10, in order to give the Industry more time to respond to this final draft report.

Be aware that this will not stop here, as I predict that Goldfish, Tetras and others like Sharks, Barbs and Catfish may be next in line, if Biosecurity Australia is not stopped here, and if this happens we will all be out of work.

IT IS NOW UP TO ALL OF YOU TO BEGIN SENDING YOUR EMAILS,FAXES, AND TELEPHONE CALLS to the two people mentioned above, regards Norm Halliwell.

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"Would be interested to here the opinions of Jodi and any other importers as to what the repercussion of this will be to us,"

If this legislation is passed Jodi will close up shop and go back to science.

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I am not typically a political activist - but I have moved on this one - emails sent. Can't lose Fishchicks!

I have suggested in my email a more engaging method of dealing with the issue is required rather than a 1 month to reply to a 3 1/2 year in the making report. Especially when non-Australian jobs are protected for the overseas Prawn industry (imports) but no action to protect the Australian jobs in the industry.

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"Would be interested to here the opinions of Jodi and any other importers as to what the repercussion of this will be to us,"

If this legislation is passed Jodi will close up shop and go back to science.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! :cry:

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I am not typically a political activist - but I have moved on this one - emails sent. Can't lose Fishchicks!

I have suggested in my email a more engaging method of dealing with the issue is required rather than a 1 month to reply to a 3 1/2 year in the making report. Especially when non-Australian jobs are protected for the overseas Prawn industry (imports) but no action to protect the Australian jobs in the industry.

The problem is that losing part of Pet Industry albeit multi-million dollars, is quite acceptable and almost insignificant when compared to losing huge sections of finfish-aquaculture, seafood, export, hospitality, etc. Not even mentioning the ecological damage to native fauna including frogs and everything terrestial which is dependent.

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The problem is that losing part of Pet Industry albeit multi-million dollars, is quite acceptable and almost insignificant when compared to losing huge sections of finfish-aquaculture, seafood, export, hospitality, etc. Not even mentioning the ecological damage to native fauna including frogs and everything terrestial which is dependent.

X2

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I have sent an E-mail to Mr Burke but I also urge you all to send e-mails to your local, state and federal members!

I personally know Peter Dutton, must say I am not a Liberal supporter though!

I contacted Peter in regards to this and he said he would look into this.

Sounds like BS but I believe he will.

Steve

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I am not typically a political activist - but I have moved on this one - emails sent. Can't lose Fishchicks!

I have suggested in my email a more engaging method of dealing with the issue is required rather than a 1 month to reply to a 3 1/2 year in the making report. Especially when non-Australian jobs are protected for the overseas Prawn industry (imports) but no action to protect the Australian jobs in the industry.

The problem is that losing part of Pet Industry albeit multi-million dollars, is quite acceptable and almost insignificant when compared to losing huge sections of finfish-aquaculture, seafood, export, hospitality, etc. Not even mentioning the ecological damage to native fauna including frogs and everything terrestial which is dependent.

I do not disagree with the sentiment - however the question is time frame and what about other industries.

We have been given 1 month to respond. That is simply not enough time. Obviously indovirus needs to be dealt with but dealt with sensibly.

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We do need to band together on this issue. I encourage everyone to support which ever groups are trying to oppose this. Queensland Cichlid Group seems like an obvious choice and are an excellent club. http://www.qcichlid.org/

The Government are finally taking a systematic and unified approach to this. This is just one point of their overall plan. As mentioned many times, there will be a day when almost all cichlids, exotic catfish and all grey list fish are noxious and an insignificant white list remains. (Yes the current white list will be greatly reduced too)

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Hi guys,

I am not a science person, so have struggled typing up an appropriate response to send to the appropriate people to express my concern. I believe if I am going to send emails or letters off to the government agencies and individuals, then I should address the concerns of the hobbiests and aquarium industry, as well as the environments. So I am hopping some one far more learned than me can type up an appropriate response and post it on the forum here so that we can all put our john and jane hanckocks on it.

As a side note, it's not like this has been unkown to the industry. I ran into an ex-LFS owner (and member of this forum) a good 18 months ago in a car park and had a discussion about this very topic. Back then he believed that all angels, rams and gourami imports would be banned. Obviously the scale is much wider now that the final report has been handed down, but the industry could have been preparing some kind of response.

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Thats a very valid point briztoon. This has been on the cards for quite a while now and there seems to be a sense of urgency in the last month to the changeover. Why hasn't something been done well before now? Who would be the governing body over the aquarium industry, PIAA?, and why haven't they done anything about it?

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Established in 1979 under the banner of PIJAC Australia, PIAA remains the only trade association within Australia that is dedicated to the protection, promotion and education of the pet industry.

How is sitting back and doing nothing while Biosecurity Australia dictates how they are going to decimate your business and hobby protecting the pet industry?

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Lets get serious about this issue rather than all stand up and feel jilted that you may have to pay a few more dollars for imported fish. It might sound drastic and devastating, but what is the alterniative, we as aquarists being responsible for the decimation of our own native fish fauna, some of which rightly hold their place as the most unique and treasured fish in the world, now that would be an even a bigger trajedy. Not to meniton if it gets into the industry, you'll loose all your prized fish to the disease anyway. Do a google search and read a few articles about the disease and it certainly sounds like something we all need to consider keeping out of the country.

As with any major change in the way we are used to doing things, it will mean some adjustments, but it also opens up new opportunities for those willing to work within the system and get good safe (and clean) products for our hobby. I'm sorry to say it but I'd prefer to see no importation if it meant saving our own native fish fauna from this disease.

Pause for a minute and consider the trajedy if this desease were take hold in the rivers home to the most unique and treasured fish in the world , the Australian Lungfish. 350 plus millions old just to be wiped out for the sake of someones hobby, NO THANKS.

Having said that surely a few extra dollars on certian imported fish is worth it to protect something much more valuable.

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David its not as simple as you make it out to be. This isn't an issue of people having to pay more for their fish, it goes much deeper then that. The protection of our natural fish species is important but the government should of thought of that before recklessly introducing species such as gambusia, brown trout, rainbow trout, redfin, carp the list goes on.

To destroy the aquarium industry and all the jobs and commerce that it provides for the Australian economy, to help prevent a disease which may or may not cause harm to Australian native fauna is ludicrous. A Murray Cod breeder feeds his fish imported female gouramis, which is illegal mind you Biosecurity Act 1996, which then contracts the virus and he loses 90% of his stock. Because of this single action we are where we are.

There are numerous small importers operating throughout Australia, nowhere near to the scale of AI and Bayfish. All these small importers will be forced to shut their doors to their QT rooms because of this law being passed. Its not as simple as a few extra dollars being put on top of the price of fish, which as an industry is suffering badly in todays economic climate, those extra few dollars will be the closure of many shops struggling to keep their head above water as it is. Biosecurity knows this but is hastily putting this Act into place without responsibly using up to date studies and communicating opening and transparently with the Pet Industry. Give Dr. Ramesh Perrera from Biosecurity a call on (02) 62724675 and see what he has to say about it.

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David its not as simple as you make it out to be. This isn't an issue of people having to pay more for their fish, it goes much deeper then that. The protection of our natural fish species is important but the government should of thought of that before recklessly introducing species such as gambusia, brown trout, rainbow trout, redfin, carp the list goes on.

To destroy the aquarium industry and all the jobs and commerce that it provides for the Australian economy, to help prevent a disease which may or may not cause harm to Australian native fauna is ludicrous. A Murray Cod breeder feeds his fish imported female gouramis, which is illegal mind you Biosecurity Act 1996, which then contracts the virus and he loses 90% of his stock. Because of this single action we are where we are.

There are numerous small importers operating throughout Australia, nowhere near to the scale of AI and Bayfish. All these small importers will be forced to shut their doors to their QT rooms because of this law being passed. Its not as simple as a few extra dollars being put on top of the price of fish, which as an industry is suffering badly in todays economic climate, those extra few dollars will be the closure of many shops struggling to keep their head above water as it is. Biosecurity knows this but is hastily putting this Act into place without responsibly using up to date studies and communicating opening and transparently with the Pet Industry. Give Dr. Ramesh Perrera from Biosecurity a call on (02) 62724675 and see what he has to say about it.

Well Said! :egrin:

Steve

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Is it really that much of a problem?

a large portion of cichlids are already unable to be imported . so they are bred locally.

as for gouramis and livebears they too can be locally bred in australia, as for the consumers. if local fish shops bought direct off the breeder and not a w/s the prices would remain exactly the same, the w/s would not go out of business in any way either as they would have 100's of other species to sell. there would just be more focus on breeding quality fish for a change not just sheer numbers.

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If you have one main breeder lets say..... Pisces ( ;) to those that know what I mean) and no one importing the same species... then they can pretty much charge what they want..... if they do the same with their fish as they do with their plants... lesser fish for higher price. (again just a loose example :ewink: )

We need to have a balance of both to keep prices competitive and more importantly... fresh bloodlines for those that do enjoy breeding.

Mr Fish

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Is it really that much of a problem?

a large portion of cichlids are already unable to be imported . so they are bred locally.

as for gouramis and livebears they too can be locally bred in australia, as for the consumers. if local fish shops bought direct off the breeder and not a w/s the prices would remain exactly the same, the w/s would not go out of business in any way either as they would have 100's of other species to sell. there would just be more focus on breeding quality fish for a change not just sheer numbers.

Is it really that much of a problem? In one word, yes.

You would then have to make sure the breeders were registered for GST and could supply an invoice, they would then have to worry about staying within the local councils laws regarding how many Litres of aquariums they can have on the premises etc etc. We will basically end up with a very limited supply of cichlids in Australia. Which is a bad thing as the lines we have now aren't the greatest. People will get bored and start experimenting with hybridisation to create something unavailable. Many other factors but I'm tired and going to bed :alien:

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i was thinking more along the lines of all the wholesalers that already exsist setting up a few extra tanks to breed themselves. sure it might take a lil more effort and a touch more in wages but could in turn also provide another job or too.

As for the different bloodlines, i think we would do ok, considering its probably been a long time since a new bloodline of electric yellows etc have been smuggled in and we can still provide excellent quality. having said that there is no reason not to bring in an order once in a while to mix up the blood. im more refering to week in week out.

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