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Responsible for the service Regional State Administrative Agency

Granting salmonids a BKD-free health category

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

If you farm salmonids or their gametes to be planted or transferred to another site for farming, your fish farm can join the voluntary health monitoring programme for BKD. If you are planning on planting salmonids in inland waters, your fish farm practically has to join the health monitoring programme. You can only plant salmonids in inland waters from a farming site that has been classified in health category 1 or 2.

You can join the health monitoring programme by submitting a written notification to your Regional State Administrative Agency.

The Regional State Administrative Agency grants each farming site in the programme a health category (1–3). The decision is based on the entry notification, tests and information regarding how the health monitoring is exercised. You can use the health category when trading fish or their gametes. A farm site is usually classified in category 2 after the first inspection visit and test results.

The purpose of the voluntary health monitoring programme for BKD is to monitor the occurrences of BKD in the sites included in the programme. BKD is a chronic, slowly developing disease met in salmonids. Its typical symptoms are stunting and constant low mortality rate. BKD can be nearly asymptomatic: it reduces appetite, causes swimming problems and has a low mortality rate. The disease can also progress acutely and cause a high death rate. BKD can be transmitted from both a brood fish to fish spawn and from fish to another. Fish can also become infected with BKD from contaminated water or equipment. The disease cannot be diagnosed based on the symptoms alone, but instead laboratory testing is required.

Do the following

  1. Learn about BKD and the requirements of the health monitoring programme.
  2. Fill out the entry form as thoroughly as you can and submit it to the registry of your Regional State Administrative Agency. If you have fish ponds, submit the entry notification to the registry of the Regional State Administrative Agency of your domicile. If you have a fish farm, submit the notification to the registry of the Regional State Administrative Agency according to the area in which your site is located.

To whom and on what terms

After joining, you are committed to ensuring that the terms and conditions of the programme are followed.

Make sure that

  1. a municipal veterinarian inspects your fish farm once every calendar year. The minimum period between inspections is 6 months. If you have several hatcheries or fish ponds, they can be inspected with one inspection even if they are located on several municipalities. Hatcheries and fish ponds do not need to be inspected on-site. However, fish farms must be inspected on-site.
  2. required samples are collected and sent to Evira to be tested for BKD. Samples are collected usually during the inspection visit. You can also send in samples at another time, if it is expedient for monitoring the disease. Talk to your municipal veterinarian during the inspection to decide together, if samples need to be sent in.
  3. to notify the municipal veterinarian immediately if BKD symptoms are detected in your fish, or there are other reasons to suspect an infection of BKD. In such a case, you are not allowed to transfer the fish or their gametes to other sites that belong on the BKD monitoring programme.
  4. your site, which belongs to the monitoring programme, only accepts
  • salmonids or their gametes from a fish farming site that is classified in category 1 for BKD. You can check the site's health category from a register on Evira's website.
  • gametes of wild salmonids only from brood fish that have been tested negative for BKD. For other salmonids, all brood fish are tested, but for grayling, common whitefish and vendace caught in the same place, 60 fish is enough.
  • wild salmonids that have been ensured to be free from BKD through quarantine and in a manner agreed upon with the Regional State Administrative Agency, or if the transfer has been agreed upon with the regional veterinary officers of the Regional State Administrative Agency in another way.

Gametes can only be retrieved from a fish hatchery that contains gametes of wild fish, even if the hatchery is not a part of the voluntary health monitoring programme and has not been classified in category 1, as long as the wild brood fish have been tested appropriately. In this case, a copy of Evira’s testing results of the wild brood fish will be attached to the recipient site’s accounts.

5. on top of other required accounting, you will keep record of the municipal veterinarian’s visits, samples and sampling results that are a part of the BKD programme.

A fee is charged for the service.

The fee for the health category classification is based on the time spent. Fees are determined by the Government’s act on the Regional State Administrative Agency’s fees in 2019 and 2020. You are also responsible for other costs related to exercising the health monitoring, such as the municipal veterinarian’s inspection visit, sampling and testing. The Regional State Administrative Agency will send you the invoice of the municipal veterinarian's visit.


The health category (1–3) is granted based on how the programme’s terms and conditions are met. After the first inspection and test results, you will receive a decision regarding your classification from the Regional State Administrative Agency, after which you can start using it.

Processing time

Depends on peak times and the season.

Period of validity

The health category (1–3) is granted based on how the programme’s terms and conditions are met. You can resign from the programme by submitting a written notification to the Regional State Administrative Agency you originally notified about joining the programme.

Basic information

The service is provided byRegional State Administrative Agency
Responsible for the serviceRegional State Administrative Agency
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: Regional State Administrative Agency
Updated: 9/9/2020