The current state of biosecurity and welfare of ornamental fish population in pet fish stores in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

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Banthita Saengsitthisak
Veerasak Punyapornwithaya
Wasana Chaisri
Raktham Mektrirat
John K. Bernard
Surachai Pikulkaew


Aquaculture has undergone extensive development in recent decades due to its use as a source of protein for human consumption, as models for scientific research, and as pets. The purpose of this study was to survey ornamental fish stores in Chiang Mai province, Thailand to identify practices which affect life quality and welfare of pet fish including general management, biosecurity management, and knowledge about fish disease and drug usage of ornamental fish store owners. The results show that most pet fish stores have poor husbandry in terms of fish health based on the observed incidence of skin erosion and fin rot (92.86%) and white spots on the skin (78.57%) in store fish. Moreover, treatment of these health conditions were performed by experienced people working in the stores without consulting a veterinarian. The top three drugs used for treatment included malachite green oxalate, trichlorfon, and formalin. Interestingly, oxytetracycline and chlortetracycline were also used frequently to treat fish disease. Despite a lack of formal training in fish management, fish health, and drug usage in ornamental fish, the knowledge of owners about fish disease and antibacterial agent usage was determined to be of an intermediate level based on testing. The information gained from this study can be used in future studies to identify stressors that affect pet fish welfare and to investigate biosecurity and ornamental fish welfare in the other sectors of the ornamental fish trade supply chain.


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Saengsitthisak, B. ., Punyapornwithaya, V. ., Chaisri, W. ., Mektrirat, R. ., K. Bernard, J. ., & Pikulkaew, . S. . (2021). The current state of biosecurity and welfare of ornamental fish population in pet fish stores in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand : Veterinary Integrative Sciences, 19(2), 277–294. Retrieved from
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