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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

The National Aquatic Animal Health Plan

By Roy P. E. Yanong, VMD, Associate Professor and Extension Veterinarian, Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida ; Ruth Francis-Floyd, DVM, MS, DACZM, Professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida

The U.S. National Aquatic Animal Health Plan (NAAHP) (www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/aquaculture/downloads/naahp.pdf) was developed to facilitate the legal movement of all aquatic animals, their eggs, and products in interstate and international commerce; protect the health and thereby improve the quality and productivity of farmed and wild aquatic animals; ensure the availability of diagnostic, inspection, and certification services; and minimize the impact of diseases when they occur in farmed or wild aquatic animals. The NAAHP is a federal guidance document intended to help direct federal, state, and tribal efforts in the areas listed above. Work is ongoing to continue to refine and implement relevant and urgent aspects of the NAAHP.

USDA-APHIS is the lead federal agency for commercial aquaculture and the protection of aquatic animal health. See the focus on fish health Web site (www.aphis.usda.gov/focusonfish/) for useful links to access additional information on the USDA-APHIS aquaculture program.

The OIE sets the standards for members of the World Trade Organization with regard to determination of internationally reportable diseases and their management, and monitors these diseases with the cooperation of member nations (see the Aquatic Animal Health Code, www.oie.int/international-standard-setting/aquatic-code/access-online/).