Restrictions on the Importation of Zebrafish into Canada Associated with Spring Viremia of Carp Virus
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The zebrafish model system is helping researchers improve the health and welfare of people and animals and has become indispensable for advancing biomedical research. As genetic engineering is both resource intensive and time-consuming, sharing successfully developed genetically modified zebrafish lines throughout the international community is critical to research efficiency and to maximizing the millions of dollars in research funding. New restrictions on importation of zebrafish into Canada based on putative susceptibility to infection by the spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV) have been imposed on the scientific community. In this commentary, we review the disease profile of SVCV in fish, discuss the findings of the Canadian government's scientific assessment, how the interpretations of their assessment differ from that of the Canadian research community, and describe the negative impact of these regulations on the Canadian research community and public as it pertains to protecting the health of Canadians.
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