Aquatic Animal Health Services launched to help aquaculture farms prevent and control diseases

The Singapore Food Agency, through AAHS, can gather aggregate information on the disease situation and areas for improvement on biosecurity practices in each farming region.

Farhana Subuhan

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Published: 1 August 2023, 6:05 PM

In an effort to aid aquaculture farms in preventing and handling diseases that could potentially affect the survival and growth of aquatic animals, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has launched the Aquatic Animal Health Services (AAHS) on Tuesday (Aug 1).

According to SFA, Vettrust Singapore Pte Ltd was chosen through a tender exercise to oversee the AAHS. It will offer professional consultations and carry out disease investigations.

From Tuesday, farms can reach out to aquatic animal health vets and professionals under the service provider for professional consultations. Each session will be capped at three hours, and this service will be available over the next four years.

For each farm, SFA will fund two consultations annually in Years 1 and 2, followed by one consultation per year in Years 3 and 4. A disease investigation will also be conducted per year throughout the four years.

The expenses for extended or additional consultations and disease investigations, prescribed veterinary drugs and chemicals, vaccines, transportation and any other necessary miscellaneous costs will be borne by the farmers.

Through the AAHS, farms will have the opportunity to gain firsthand experience and grasp the benefits of professional support for their farm biosecurity and management. The service also aims to assist farmers in enhancing their farm management practices and better managing their farms in the future.

SFA shared that the AAHS will allow it to “collate aggregate information on the disease situation and areas for improvement on biosecurity practices in each farming region.” Subsequently, this will contribute to enhanced overall planning and resource allocation, providing better support to the local aquaculture industry.

Dr Astrid Yeo, Senior Director of SFA’s Regulatory Standards & Veterinary Office said that the launch of the AAHS is a step towards securing a steady supply of safe seafood.

“It is heartening to know that 11 farms have already signed up for AAHS,” Dr Yeo added.

SFA said that it will continue to seek feedback from farms on the AAHS to ensure it remains beneficial and relevant to the industry.

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