Urgent Notice and Report on Infection of KHV
(Koi Herpes Virus)
June 11, 2008

It has been reported that Sakai Hiroshima Fish Farm, Hiroshima Prefecture (roughly 1,200km away from Niigata), have had an occurrence of KHV at the farm.

We understand that the incident, isolated to one of the farms mud ponds, has been reported to the relevant authorities who are carrying out testing.

Urgent Notice and Report on Infection of KHV (Koi Herpes Virus)
February 19, 2007

We regret to inform you of an announcement made on January 30, 2007 regarding the detection of a KHV (Koi Herpes Virus) infected Koi from a Nishikigoi breeder in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture.

The Koi confirmed to be infected with KHV were two Koi purchased last November by this breeder from a general Koi lover residing in Chiba. They were to be quarantined for KHV testing purposes, but instead they were kept with other Koi. A problem was reported on January 24, 2007 after a routine examination, and samples were taken immediately for close examinations. As a result, the Koi tested positive for KHV on January 30.

Because the breeder did not comply with the rules stating that Koi brought in from an outside source must be placed under quarantine for three weeks for infection prevention, the Niigata prefectural government directed this breeder to immediately cull all of the Koi, to disinfect, and to stop the transfer of Koi. The breeder has implemented these tasks.

Fortunately it has been confirmed that this breeder has not transferred nor sold not even one Koi to an outside party, neither have they had negotiations with other breeders within Niigata Prefecture from the day these Koi were brought in until the day they were culled. It also has been confirmed that this breeder implemented complete culling and disinfection, so the risk and effect involved with the detection of the KHV infected Koi to the outside have been affirmed to be zero.

Since the confirmation of the first KHV infected Koi within the prefecture last May, there have been twenty confirmed cases of KHV infection, a total of sixty-six Koi, including the most recent case. We are afraid that it is impossible to eliminate KHV itself at the present, but Niigata Prefecture will continue making extra efforts for a KHV-free environment. We will also enforce even more our risk aversion system so the effect of infection will not spread to Koi lovers and dealers in Japan and elsewhere, in the remote chance that KHV does occur.

On behalf of Niigata’s Nishikigoi breeders, I would like to apologize for causing anxieties about the occurrence of KHV infection. At the same time, I would like to assure you that we will look anew at the thorough enforcement of the disease prevention manual, and that we will prepare and implement a strict management system especially for transportation of and contact with Koi from outside Niigata.

KHV Reports
About “heating-up” method
Nishikigoi Mondo

Urgent Notice and Report on Infection of KHV (Koi Herpes Virus)
Vol.5 (Final Report)September 1st, 2006

We have released four reports since the first one on June 28, and I am very glad to say that this will be the final report.

Yesterday, representatives of Niigata Nishikigoi breeders,officials from the prefectural government and the Inland
Water Fisheries Experiment Station, and fish diseases trainers appointed for each area by the Niigata District of All Japan Nishikigoi Promotion Association gathered to have a detailed discussion of the situation. As a result, we have verified that at the present, there are no Nishikigoi in Niigata that are infected with KHV or are suspected of KHV infection. We have confirmed that all Koi are safe and healthy, so we are lifting the voluntary restraint on distribution as of today. We will now issue declaration of safety.

We need to apologize for one thing. After the fourth report was released on July 19, five more breeders with KHV infected Koi were found, and we had not informed you of it. We apologize we are giving this report to you together with the safety declaration.

During the 76 days from the day of detection up until today, we have worked together hard so you will be able to place 100% confidence in our “safe, beautiful and healthy Niigata originated Nishikigoi.” The cause of KHV infection was as follows: a breeder who lost oyagoi in the earthquake 2 years ago was lax in confirming the safety when he borrowed an oyagoi from a breeder outside of Niigata prefecture. However, because it occurred in early spring and because we took prompt measures, we were able to prevent the supply of infected Koi to our valued Koi lovers and dealers. The KHV problem has now terminated.

All Nishikigoi currently in Niigata and all Nishikigoi that we Niigata breeders will supply in the future will be KHV free. Furthermore, we will perform this autumn’s ikeage as we do every year, and we will supply beautiful and healthy Nishikigoi. I hope you will continue loving Niigata’s Nishikigoi.

Once again, I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for your kind understanding and support.

Vol.4 July 19th, 2006

It has been a month since the detection of the KHV infected Koi. We would like to give a report on the current situation.
As mentioned previously, culling of all KHV infected Koi has been completed.
All of the related parties have been continuously working together to take actions, one of them being strict supervision. We are happy to inform you of the following at this point.

Not a single KHV infected Koi has been detected since then.

Apart from the eight breeders from whom KHV infected Koi were detected, no cases of infection have been found from other breeders, dealers, and individual users that were involved in the distribution process that may cause further spread of KHV.

All of the breeders’ Koi were tested with the KHV free Koi. There have been no reports on infection or possible KHV cases.
We are able to say that, from the above-mentioned points, KHV countermeasures were taken correctly and have delivered expected results.
However, to be extremely cautious, we are still confirming safe conditions with full attention.

We will be informing you once again immediately after the announcement of definitive official safety confirmation measures. This is a brief report on where we currently stand.

Vol.3 July 10th, 2006

We greatly appreciate the messages of understanding and encouragement you have sent from all over the world regarding the KHV infection research results reported on June 28 and July 7.
Some have expressed concerns on why the real names of the breeders or Koi Farms who owned the infected Koi have not been disclosed, or some have stated that they should be disclosed. In reflecting those opinions, we would like to take this opportunity to explain why we, INPC, made a decision not to announce them.
Needless to say, we have identified all of the breeders who owned the KHV infected Koi. We of course discussed whether the real names should be disclosed or not. Upon discussion, we came to a conclusion not to, at least not on the internet, for the following two reasons.

1) Those of you who have visited the Nishikigoi production area in Niigagata know well that all breeders raise Koi by distributing them into numerous ponds (or pools). Considering only production efficiency, it might be better to gather them in one big pond, but the breeders distribute them to diversify risks and to produce high-quality Nishikigoi. This method has been used for a long time in the birthplace of Nishikigoi and will not be changed. So when there is a misfortune of an outbreak of KHV such as this time, the breeders cull all of the Koi from the pond (or pool) from where the infected Koi was found. Then water is drained from that pond or pool, and they are thoroughly disinfected. At the same time, non-infected Koi (KHV free Koi) are put into other ponds and pools under strict control to identify other possible occurrences of KHV. These KHV free Koi are always available from Niigata Prefecture’s public experiment organization. If and when there are slightest signs of infection, Koi in that pond or pool are immediately culled, and they are disinfected. The progress reports that have been released earlier are based on these processes.

Stated in other words, the breeders which owned the KHV infected Koi have culled part of their Koi but still keep breeding many Koi that have been confirmed to be safe. They will be sold along with other breeders’ Koi when their safety is completely confirmed.
Not all Koi lovers and dealers are fully aware of these procedures and KHV countermeasures. If we announce the real names of the breeders, some people may be misinformed and may suspect Koi from those breeders that are proven to be safe. We want to avoid this situation. This is our first reason.

2) Niigata, as the place of origin of Nishikigoi, has a 200-year history, and the majority of the breeders run Koi farms as their family business. Because of that many of them have the same last names or have Koi farms with the same names. Therefore, if we announce the real names of the breeders or Koi farms, there is a great possibility that cognominal breeders or Koi farms may be mistaken for the breeder of the KHV Koi. Of course they are in no way responsible for the KHV occurrence. This is the second reason: to avoid the risk of involving unrelated breeders.

As already informed, we were able to take complete measures against the KHV outbreak for the following reasons; appropriate actions were taken immediately after the outbreak, handling was easy fortunately because occurrence was during spawning to fry season, and circulation of the infected Koi in the market was prevented.

KHV is, unfortunately, an infectious disease caused by a virus that can break out in any part the world at any time. There is no way to reduce the risk of KHV by 100 percent. That is why, an industry-government-academia team works together to protect the Nishikigoi, the Japanese traditional culture and Niigata’s pride, from the risk of KHV.

Niigata’s Nishikigoi breeders, without exception, have a lot of pride and love in breeding Nishikigoi. If none of the risks mentioned above would exist upon disclosing names of breeders’ who owned the infected Koi, they themselves would like to personally meet you to kneel down to the ground and apologize for causing anxiety and for letting the Koi become infected due to their own carelessness.

I hope you will understand our perspective and also place your trust in that Niigata still is the best supplying district for the safest and high-quality Nishikigoi.

Vol.2 July 7th, 2006

This is a follow-up report on the outbreak of KHV.
On June 30, 2006, representatives of Niigata Nishikigoi breeders, officials from the prefectural government and the Inland Water Fisheries Experiment Station, and fish diseases trainers appointed for each area by the Niigata District of All Japan Nishikigoi Promotion Association gathered to give a status report and to confirm countermeasures against the disease.
Niigata, being the birthplace and the world’s largest production area of Nishikigoi, has thorough disease control guidelines and has never, not once, let the Koi become infected with the KHV disease.
Unfortunately, a Koi brought in from another prefecture for spawning purposes was a KHV carrier, and KHV was detected for the first time ever from a Niigata breeder’s Koi. The detection was first reported on June 18, 2006 and was officially announced in Niigata five days later on June 23. Please allow me to inform you that we were able to limit the damages to a minimum since prompt actions according to the control guidelines were taken immediately after the detection.

Here is what we specifically did; we made a list of the breeders who interchanged Koi with the breeder who owned the infected Koi. The list consisted of 8 breeders, inside and outside of Niigata. All the infected Koi were culled. Furthermore, we investigated those who may have had contact with the breeder in question. Koi fry that had relation with the infected Koi in some way or another, even if they were free from the possibility of infection, were all culled to eliminate the remotest possibility of infection. We are taking severe measurements based on the “punish those in doubt” principle.
Fortunately since the occurrence of KHV was during spawning season, we have verified that, based on our investigation, no KHV infected or possibly infected Koi have been transferred externally, so there is little possibility of further spread of damages caused by the KHV. In addition, to completely eliminate KHV from Niigata, we are in the process of testing Koi from all breeders, even if they have no contact with the breeder who owned the infected Koi.

After completing these tasks, we will be able to officially issue a declaration of safety in the near future.
This incident will be a good lesson for us. Taking pride in being breeders in the birthplace of Nishikigoi, we are making extra efforts so you will have strong confidence in the safety of Niigata’s Nishikigoi from now on. Your continued understanding and support will be fully appreciated.

Vol.1 June 28th, 2006

We regret very much to inform you that KHV (Koi Herpes Virus) infected Koi have been found from Nishikigoi dealers in Ojiya City, Niigata Prefecture. Fortunately, because it was detected at an early stage and because the Niigata prefectural government and breeders have always secured a crisis-management system, there is little need to worry about the spread of the KHV disease. However, we are taking precautions by confirming with all other breeders. We will be able to give a final report at the beginning of July, but first we would like to give an immediate report.

On Sunday, June 18, a KHV infected Koi was identified for the first time from a Niigata breeder. The source of infection was a tategoi transferred from another prefecture. All possibly infected Koi from that source have been inspected and culled. We are currently in the process of reinspecting all Niigata Koi to prevent the spread of KHV. Details will be reported in early July, but please allow us to offer our sincerest apologies for the anxiety caused.

As informed previously, the Niigata prefectural government and breeders work together to implement measures
towards fish diseases, which is why we were able to deal with the KHV disease before its spread. We will continue to work hard towards zero incidence of KHV. Your understanding and continued support will be very much appreciated.