BC ISA outbreak investigated

25 Oct 2011
An ISA outbreak has not been verified by officials

An ISA outbreak has not been verified by officials

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a statement saying that the reports stating that ISA has been found in British Columbia salmon have not yet been verified by federal officials.

The organisation says that after initial investigations it is are concerned that proper protocols may not have been followed in the testing and reporting of these findings. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) are working to assess the results through scientifically sound and internationally recognised procedures, which must include additional testing to verify the presence or absence of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) virus in these samples.

DFO says it wants to assure Canadians and people around the world that it is working diligently alongside CFIA to get the facts about the reports of the presence of ISA in British Columbian salmon.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada conducts regular testing in British Columbia for a wide variety of pathogens, including ISA. Over the past two years, over 500 wild and farmed salmon in British Columbia have been tested. From 2003 to 2010, the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture operated a scientifically designed surveillance program that tested over 4,700 farmed salmon in BC. Again, all samples were negative for the virus. In short, there has never been a confirmed case of ISA in British Columbia salmon – farmed or wild.

The CFIA and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have been able to acquire additional tissue samples from the 48 sample fish. The national ISA reference laboratory in Moncton will analyse these samples, which could take up to 4 or 5 weeks.

DFO says that until the testing is finalised, it is important that Canadians and others reserve judgment and let the appropriate scientific process run its course.

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