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Wild Salmon in British Columbia Test Negative for ISA

13 June 2013

CANADA - Samples collected and tested as part of the 2012 wild salmon disease surveillance initiative in British Columbia have tested negative for infectious salmon anaemia (ISA).

The samples were also tested for either infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) or infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) and these tests were also negative.

IHN, IPN and ISA are reportable diseases in Canada. These diseases are contagious and can cause disease and mortality in salmon. IHN is known to exist in certain species and populations of wild finfish in B.C. IPN and ISA have not been confirmed in the province.

In 2012, 4175 wild salmon samples were collected directly from B.C. waters, processing plants and enhancement hatcheries as part of a surveillance initiative in B.C. All of these samples were tested for the ISA virus.

The samples were also tested for either IHN or IPN depending on the age of the fish. A variety of salmon species were tested, including those that could carry infection without showing signs of disease. In 2013, this surveillance programme is expected to test approximately 5,000 samples.

This surveillance initiative is led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in partnership with many organisations, including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Province of British Columbia, First Nations groups, the aquaculture industry and the fishing and processing industry.

All sampling, testing and response activities associated with this surveillance initiative are based on internationally recognized science. They are also consistent with international guidelines and national aquatic animal health requirements.

The CFIA is also finalising an evaluation of on-going farmed salmon testing activities in B.C. Next steps for on-farm surveillance will be communicated in the fall of 2013.

Executive Summary: Status Update on the Surveillance of Wild Anadromous Salmonids in British Columbia

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