Eradicating Koi Herpes Virus
By John Hathaway
Northwest Region Director
AKCA-Project KHV Team
I hope that you never have
the truly heartbreaking experience of having your entire koi collection die from Koi Herpes Virus, KHV! KHV is highly contagious and fatal! KHV does not discriminate
on the basis of color, value, or being “best and favorite.” KHV has
invaded the ponds of both veteran and novice koi keepers. It is devastating to
koi breeders, dealers, and koi keepers. As hobbyists, we can take precautions
to prevent the introduction of KHV into our ponds, but our koi will not be genuinely safe until this disease is eradicated. This is not a subtle request for a donation from every member of all PNKCA clubs to
help fund the AKCA’s Project KHV.
AKCA - PROJECT KHV is dedicated to soliciting substantial funding for peer reviewed KHV research targeted to develop
new technologies directly related to short term control and longer term eradication of KHV.
Possible areas of research that may be funded are: Developing and/or testing an effective KHV vaccine, potential preventatives,
more accurate and available tests for KHV, and recommendations to appropriately deal with KHV exposed and/or KHV “recovered”
koi. For more information, visit www.akca.org and click on Project KHV.
will be expensive. Fortunately, there has already been a lot of research done
on KHV around the world. The Project intends to utilize what has already been accomplished to jump start our efforts and insure
we put together a realistic research plan which will produce real results in the shortest possible time. We have set an initial goal of $500,000 to be raised in the first two years of this project.
This is a lot of money—at
least to some of us. But, the AKCA-KHV Project Team firmly believes that it is
achievable. Let’s break this down a bit.
For example, if a club has 100 members and every member donated just $5.00 for every koi they own (say 10), for a total
of $50.00 per person, $5000.00 will be raised! How many avid koi keepers own
only 10 koi? And, when you really think about your monetary and emotional investment in your pond(s) and koi and the difference
that this research could make to your enjoyment of the koi hobby, I’m sure that you will agree that $5/koi is really
a minimal donation. Now, factor in donations from thousands of koi keepers nationwide
plus donations from koi clubs and koi-related businesses. $500,000 is an ambitious, but realistic goal!
As of February 7, 2005, the
AKCA-Project KHV has received donations $18,570.50 from 22 AKCA clubs ($12,596.50), 37 individuals ($4,619.00) and 4 businesses
($1,355). These early donations have occurred with only minimal publicity about our project consisting mainly of a short press
release notifying clubs and hobbyists of our plans to start organizing this effort.
So, while we are clearly on our way, there is still a long way to go!
AKCA has committed to pay
all operating expenses so 100% of donations will be used for actual KHV research. AKCA will also donate 50% of the revenues
from the annual AKCA Seminar raffles and auctions to the project. Many businesses have been making donations of products and
services to the 24th annual AKCA Seminar to be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma in June 23-26, 2005. We are also very grateful to Peter Enfield who has donated four of his beautiful koi slates to be used by our project
as fund raising items in the months ahead – visit the Project KHV website to bid on this slate! We are very excited about this early progress that will certainly accelerate as more of the koi hobby learns
about our efforts.