Importer Guidance for Aquatic Animal Health Import Quarantine Unit
Appendix C: Standard operating procedure guidelines for import quarantine

Note: The SOPs that are not applicable to dead aquatic animal carcasses or parts thereof are denoted with an asterisk (*).

This is table is not intended to be a complete list of requirements for a particular quarantine unit. Additional SOPs may be required after the CFIA has conducted the documentation and physical inspections.

Standard Operating Procedures

Animals
Import Quarantine Procedures Details
Unintentional animal introductions into the quarantine unit* SOP:
  • screen maintenance and repair; and
  • proper screen size.

Record-keeping:

  • Date of maintenance and repair(s).
Intentional animal introductions into the quarantine unit Record-keeping:
  • Date and source of aquatic animal introduction into the quarantine unit – specific origin, name of supplier/country;
  • If sampling and testing for aquatic animal health purposes is required, any and all records related to the sampling and testing, including diagnostic results must be kept.
  • Date and destination of animal movements into and out of the quarantine unit. All records must be kept for two years of import;
  • All movements of aquatic animal population(s) within the quarantine unit;
  • Inventory and list of species in each aquatic animal holding unit; and
  • Original import permit.
Aquatic animal gametes and/or germplasm treatment* SOP:
  • treatment procedure;
  • when to implement the treatment;
  • the reason for the treatment;
  • identification of the staff member or position responsible for carrying out the procedure;
  • an adequate description of the required dilutions to reach the therapeutic concentrations of disinfectant/treatment solutions, including maintenance of acceptable water quality of the solution and maintenance of solution concentrations;
  • an adequate description of any hazards for treatment (e.g. high levels of organic matter or high pH that interfere with the efficacy of egg disinfection solutions);
  • disinfectant/treatment solution is maintained as per manufacturer's recommendations;
  • effluent disposal (if applicable); and
  • water-quality parameters specific to the species, life stage and treatment being carried out.

Record-keeping:

  • Any information where the application of the SOP varies from the accepted protocol;
  • Reason for the treatment;
  • Exact name of the product used;
  • Names and/or trade names of the products used, including dosages/concentrations; and
  • Written records documenting the date(s) of treatment and the following information:
    • life stage of the animals;
    • location of treated animal groups; and
    • specific water-quality parameters that may be relevant to the treatment type.
  • Maintain records for a minimum of two years
Water
Import Quarantine Procedures Details
Unintentional introduction of water SOP:
  • if applicable, mitigation measures to prevent flooding.
Treatment and disposal of water and/or ice accompanying imported aquatic animals for quarantine SOP:
  • the method, location and equipment used for treatment and disposal of transportation water and/or ice and solid waste (if present);

Record-keeping:

  • Any deviations from the SOP must be recorded;
  • If water is disinfected within the transportation container, the method of water disinfection, including the dosages achieved (chemical) and exposure time must be recorded;
  • If transportation water and/or ice is introduced into the quarantine unit, the flow rate of the treatment system and volume of transportation water introduced into the treatment system must be recorded to support that the volume of transportation water introduced into the quarantine unit treatment system did not affect its efficacy. Calculations to support the above must be performed and confirmed prior to the import and the introduction of the transport water and/or ice;
  • Evidence for acceptance of disposal of transportation water into the quarantine unit; and
  • The method and volume of water treated.
Assessment of influent water source* Record-keeping:
  • If the water source for the quarantine unit is ground water or spring water, the following information should be recorded in order to determine whether the source is uncontaminated:
    • the use of a well;
    • the depth of the well;
    • land use for the surrounding area, and local industries that may affect inputs;
    • the water source classification (confined aquifer or unconfined aquifer);
    • the history of the water quality;
    • the annual changes in water temperature and other water-quality parameters;
    • the soil or rock type into which the well is drilled, dug or bored; and
    • any data available for the testing of the water for the presence of pathogens (e.g. E. coli).
Water quality monitoring SOP:
  • the parameters that are to be measured;
  • the methods and equipment used;
  • the frequency of monitoring required for the location; and
  • the normal expected water quality parameters, including upper and lower limits, and required actions in the event of an unacceptable change in water quality.

Contingency plan:

  • Deterioration in specific water quality parameters are identified and specific measures must be implemented to correct the problems (e.g. if the transmittance of water decreases below 90% in a UV system, the drum filter may need cleaning or sand filter may need backwashing);
  • Water flow interruption (overflow, leakage); and
  • Changes in water quality that indicate the contamination of a ground water supply or failure of a water treatment system require the quarantine unit to contact CFIA.

Record-keeping:

  • Type and frequency of water quality measurements;
  • Calibration of water quality monitoring equipment when required; and
  • Actions taken to amend water quality problems.
Influent and effluent water treatment* SOP:
  • details on pre-filtration, including the type of filter and size of particles removed as well as the method and frequency of cleaning of the filter; and
  • for water treatment, the specific parameters routinely monitored for the system, and any maintenance required. Note: The specifics that should be measured and the frequency of measurement are dependent on the system used (e.g. when UV disinfection is used, transmittance should be monitored and follow manufacturer's guidelines for frequency).

Contingency plan:

  • Outlines each component of the system that is prone to failure, for example planning for UV bulb replacement and power outages.
  • Reporting to CFIA if there is water treatment system failure.

Record-keeping:

  • Records must be kept for all maintenance, failures or repairs to the water treatment system.
Disposal of solid waste collected from the quarantine unit SOP:
  • information on the waste collection equipment and staff outerwear, including cleaning and disinfection procedures;
  • handling and holding of the waste collected, waste disposal location, equipment used for holding waste prior to treatment, and treatment methods used prior to disposal of the waste from the quarantine unit;
  • service companies provided with the quarantine unit biosecurity guidelines to follow, such as instructions for where to pick up waste or drop off supplies; and how to provide the company information on where the conveyance has been prior to coming to the site;
  • biosecurity guidelines for service companies, including instructions for where to pick up waste or drop off supplies; and how to provide the quarantine unit information on where the conveyance has been prior to coming to the site;
  • contact information for the waste collection service if one is used; and
  • the waste disposal location, equipment and measures taken to ensure waste is covered when disposed of.

Record-keeping:

  • Date of waste pickups or disposal on-site;
  • Contact information for driver or vehicle; and
  • Biomass of waste collected (estimate or weight if available).
Feed
Import Quarantine Procedures Details
Feed storage* SOP:
  • live feed procedures (if applicable);
  • how feed is protected from scavengers and vermin, including vermin control program implementation when necessary;
  • methods for disinfection of feed containers;
  • handling spilled feed and clean-up and disposal; and
  • methods for prevention of cross contamination of feed sources (e.g. separate containers with lids).

Record-keeping:

  • Records indicate when signs of scavengers and vermin are seen and the control methods implemented; and
  • Invoices for feed for the quarantine unit, including the feed lot number, date of manufacture and delivery date.
Fomites
Import Quarantine Procedures Details
Vehicle management SOP:
  • the identification of parking locations for vehicles and signage procedures for entrance and exit into the quarantine unit;
  • cleaning and disinfection procedures for vehicles that enter and exit the quarantine unit, including cleaning and disinfection location, methods, types of surfaces on which disinfection will be completed, and products used;
  • vehicle disinfection location;
  • requirement to maintain on-site vehicles/vessels in clean condition to minimize the transfer of pathogens on people and equipment travelling in the vehicle/vessel;
  • the use of impermeable transfer boxes for equipment when possible so that they can be effectively disinfected;
  • the choice of travel routes and logistics to minimize pathogen transfer; and
  • indication of the location for vehicles to conduct pick-up or drop-offs, and wherever possible, have this done at a distance from the quarantine unit and separate "dirty" from "clean" activities.

Record-keeping:

  • A logbook of the vehicle movements is required;
  • Notation in the logbook of vehicle disinfection activities is required; and
  • The attendance of service sector vehicles to the quarantine unit (e.g. mortality pickups or feed delivery must be noted in the quarantine access log).
Equipment management SOP:
  • quarantine unit-specific equipment identification and inventory maintenance (e.g. quarantine equipment is marked with a large "Q" in indelible ink); and
  • cleaning and disinfection of the quarantine unit equipment.

Record-keeping:

  • Maintain records of equipment:
    • equipment used;
    • location of transfer from origin to destination;
    • cleaning and disinfection protocol used; and
    • date of transfer and reason for the transfer.
Inorganic waste disposal SOP:
  • the waste disposal location, equipment and measures taken to ensure waste is covered when disposed of;
  • information on the waste collection equipment and staff outerwear, including cleaning and disinfection procedures;
  • if service companies pick up waste, the written procedure must outline the measures taken to minimize contamination on the site (e.g. pickup of waste containers at the quarantine unit perimeter and provision of a concrete pad that can be cleaned and disinfected after pickup);
  • service companies are provided with the quarantine unit biosecurity guidelines to follow, such as instructions for where to pick up waste or drop off supplies, and how to provide the company information on where the conveyance has been prior to coming to the site; and
  • contact information is available for the waste collection service if one is used.

Record-keeping:

  • Date of waste pickups or disposal on-site;
  • Contact information for driver or vehicle; and
  • Biomass of waste collected (estimate or weight if available).
Cleaning and disinfection SOP:
  • manufacturer's instructions for chemical handling, use of each type of chemical disinfectant (including contact time and frequency), and specific disinfectant procedures (e.g. cleaning prior to disinfection, contact time, rinsing disinfectant off equipment and drying after use) for of all equipment (for example: feeding, mortality, graders, and fish pumps), packaging materials, vehicles and other fomites that could possibly introduce pathogens of concern to aquatic animal populations outside the quarantine unit;
  • process for advising and training staff on chemical handling and disinfection procedures;
  • procedural requirements for heat treatment, which include the time and temperature parameters to be reached to destroy the pathogens of concern; and
  • procedures for maintenance of disinfectant and frequency of renewal or exchange of disinfectant to sure its efficacy.

Record-keeping:

  • Disinfectants used;
  • Receipts for disinfectant purchases; and
  • Dates of equipment cleaning and disinfection.
Chemical storage SOP:
  • manufacturer's instructions for chemical disinfectant storage
Vector
Import Quarantine Procedures Details
Access control SOP:
  • maintenance of the fences, doors, and signage; and
  • procedure for checking that access points are secure at all times (e.g. doors are locked).

Record-keeping:

  • The dates of maintenance to fences, doors, and signage.
Quarantine unit biosecurity SOP:
  • Quarantine unit access procedures:
    • requirement for contacting the quarantine unit prior to entry;
    • providing copies of biosecurity requirements (including personal and cleaning and disinfection requirements) to anyone planning on entering the quarantine unit;
    • asking those that intend on entering the quarantine unit if they have had any contact with aquatic animals or aquatic animal products within the previous 48 hours and the nature of the contact, and limiting quarantine unit access;
  • Specific elements pertaining to staff clothing and raingear:
    • requirements for personal clothing worn on site (e.g. is clean and dry);
    • work clothes provided for staff (e.g. remains in the quarantine unit); and
    • disinfection of personal raingear upon entry or exiting the quarantine unit, ensuring sufficient contact time with the chosen disinfectant.
  • Specific elements pertaining to staff movements between quarantine units/other sites and logistics of daily activities:
    • if staff are exposed to aquatic animals or their products outside of their work environment, precautions to prevent the movement of pathogens between systems (e.g. such as change of clothes, disinfection of raingear or a time restriction between activities);
    • daily activity planning in a manner that decreases the risk of pathogen movement from the quarantine unit (e.g. the order of daily activities in the staff and site biosecurity procedures); and
    • high risk activity planning (e.g. mortality handling and disposal are done by separate staff from those staff doing feeding if possible).
  • ante-room procedures;
  • disinfection station procedures, which include a footbath and hand wash station be provided and in some cases designated footwear or clothing be present upon entry to and exit from the quarantine unit;
  • instructions for using CFIA approved disinfectants (according to manufacturer's directions), which includes the disinfectant solutions being changed frequently enough to ensure efficacy; and
  • instructions for disinfectant footbath dilution (specific to the disinfectant used).

Record-keeping:

  • The dates of cleaning and disinfection of the ante-room;
  • A footbath logbook is present to document the dates of footbath changes and the disinfectant type and concentrations used; and
  • A quarantine access logbook is required to detail all access to the quarantine unit, including the names of those entering, date, reason for visit, where they come from, and time since visiting last aquatic animal location.
Predator, scavenger, and pest control SOP:
  • where applicable, preventive measures used to eliminate predator access to outdoor quarantine unit (e.g. bird nets, lidded tanks, electric fences);
  • preventative measures used to eliminate scavengers and pests from accessing the quarantine unit;
  • frequency of inspection and methods for evaluation of animal holding units and overall quarantine unit and repair of any damage (to prevent predator or scavenger access);
  • instructions to follow mortality management SOP (e.g. remove mortalities daily, at a minimum, to decrease attractiveness of the site to scavengers and predators);
  • waste storage; and
  • instructions to follow spilled feed cleaning protocol.

Record-keeping:

  • Record access of predators and scavengers into the feed storage areas and other parts of the quarantine unit;
  • Document preventive measures undertaken to prevent access; and
  • Record damage to the quarantine unit and any related mortalities.
Mortality management – collection and storage* SOP:
  • instructions on hygienic precautions, including wearing gloves while handling dead aquatic animals, and washing and sanitizing hands after mortality collection;
  • procedure and frequency for removal of dead aquatic animals from holding units;
  • equipment use protocol;
  • cleaning and disinfection of raingear and equipment used to remove mortalities in the quarantine unit (refer to cleaning and disinfection SOP);
  • mortality collection, including counting and visually examining mortalities as they are collected;
  • mortality storage; and
  • mortality handling procedures.
Mortality and/or carcass management – disposal SOP:
  • Where approved by the CFIA, procedure for mortality disposal to a landfill or compost premises including the location, equipment used, and measures taken to ensure mortalities are covered when disposed of;
  • cleaning and disinfection of mortality collection equipment and staff outerwear;
  • if service companies pick up mortalities, there must be a procedure that outlines the measures taken to minimize contamination on the site (e.g. pickup of mortality containers at the quarantine unit perimeter, and provision of a concrete pad that can be cleaned and disinfected after pickup);
  • quarantine unit biosecurity guidelines for service companies (e.g. instructions for where to pick up mortalities and waste or drop off supplies and how to provide the quarantine unit information on where the conveyance has been prior to coming to the site); and
  • contact information for mortality collection service if one is used.

Contingency plan:

  • Mass mortality disposal.

Record-keeping:

  • Method for management and disposal of dead aquatics animals;
  • Date of pickups for disposal or disposal if on-site;
  • Contact information for driver or vehicle; and
  • Biomass of mortalities collected (estimate or weight if available).
Active Observational Surveillance of the Quarantine Unit
Import Quarantine Procedures Details
Daily aquatic animal monitoring* SOP:
  • daily monitoring of aquatic animal behaviour, including appearance and any signs of morbidity, including the following:
    • feeding;
    • schooling;
    • reaction to human presence;
    • flashing;
    • gasping;
    • visible gross clinical signs of disease; and
    • any other specific signs the site staff normally observes daily.
  • specific actions required on the part of the staff monitoring the aquatic animals, including informing the aquatic health manager or site manager.

Record-keeping:

  • Notation of abnormalities in behaviour or appearance; and
  • Date and aquatic animal holding unit in which abnormalities were noted.
Visual examination of quarantine aquatic animal holding units for signs of disease* SOP:
  • protocol for daily collection, visual examination by trained personnel, and counting of moribund animals and mortalities;
  • mortalities are counted, visually examined for clinical signs of disease, and their numbers are recorded daily; and
  • protocol for when abnormal mortalities are observed (e.g. quarantine unit staff must report to the supervising Veterinary Inspector).

Contingency plan:

  • Mandatory notification of Veterinary Inspector when detect or suspicious of disease in the case of specifics signs of disease or an unexplained increase in morbidity or mortality rate.

Record-keeping:

  • Inventory records;
  • Abnormalities noted through visual examination of moribund animals or mortalities; and
  • Follow up measures for determining the cause of abnormal morbidity or mortality.
Routine internal visual inspection of individual aquatic animal mortalities* SOP:
  • procedure for when abnormalities are observed;
  • where staff have specific training in aquatic animal health, procedure for the recording of pathological signs that are observed and assignment of specific triggers for the quarantine unit that indicate a serious disease occurrence. Some examples follow:
    • clinical signs of septicaemia (haemorrhages);
    • ascites;
    • trailing fecal casts;
    • gray-coloured gills in live fish;
    • presence of granulomas or other tissue lesions; and
    • any other specific triggers for an individual site.
    • procedure for response when observations of clinical signs of serious disease occur.

Record-keeping:

  • Notation of all abnormalities or possible clinical signs of disease in daily records; and
  • Diagnostic test results.
Staff training in biosecurity and aquatic animal diseases* SOP:
  • on-the-job training in the biosecurity plan for all staff; and
  • experience or training program in recognizing the normal patterns of behaviour (feeding and schooling), productivity, and mortality so that staff recognize when something abnormal occurs.
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