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On-Farm Testing Continues Following IHN Discovery

28 May 2012

CANADA - Testing continues on farm sites run by all companies throughout British Columbia, following the detection of Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) virus last week.

To date, 30 of the farms operating in British Columbia have completed testing with all proving negative for the virus. Samples from roughly 21 more farms are in laboratories waiting processing. For all other operating farms recent routine sampling by DFO has been negative for the virus as well.

Mainstream Canada advises that a weak positive has been found on a second farm. The low result requires further testing and they are seeing no related mortalities, however, the company is making plans to harvest.

While Grieg Seafood advised the public of a soft positive in a Coho farm near Sechelt, further testing has indicated a negative finding. In the immediate juncture, the preventative quarantine is still in place while the company reviews with CFIA. Because IHN virus is naturally-occurring in the Pacific Ocean, these quarantines are in place to prevent the spread to other farms, particularly those stocked with Atlantic salmon.

Mainstream Canada advised the public on May 18 that they had completed depopulation of the Dixon Bay farm site where IHN virus was first identified. The culled fish were sent to a composting facility in Port Alberni as approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Composting is a very effective way of disposing of these fish, as the virus is quickly killed in high temperatures like those required in composting.

The committee formed by representatives of the BC salmon farming community continues to meet daily and share information about the ongoing event. This communication – along with regular updates with the CFIA and Department of Fisheries and Oceans – will continue.

Testing of all other samples is expected to be complete in the next week.

All voluntary farm tours will be delayed until further testing is complete.

“Our farmers are continuing to pay very close attention to this issue and are hopeful that through the quick and decisive steps taken over the last few weeks, that this can be largely contained,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director. “It is a priority to keep the public informed as we move forward.”

Further Reading

Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

TheFishSite News Desk



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