Mainstream Canada facilities. (Photo: YouTube/TofinoNews)
Mainstream starts depopulating farm after detecting IHNv
Friday, May 18, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Mainstream Canada has begun killing more than half a million one-kg-sized fish at its Dixon Bay farm site after having detected infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHNv) in its farmed Atlantic salmon.
Fish samples collected during routine health disease screening on 14 May were handed over to the provincial government's Animal Health Centre lab in Abbotsford, British Columbia (BC).
The lab confirmed the presence of the virus with genetic sequencing after conducting qPCR tests. Histopathological results also confirmed that the fish were affected with the disease caused by the IHN virus, infectious haematopoietic necrosis, at which time the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was informed of the outbreak.
"This is code red," Mainstream Spokesperson Laurie Jensen said, CBC News reports.
"This is not good news for the fish or for the companies," she said. "We will contain this however way we can."
Mainstream Canada has since then begun depopulating the farm site.
Fish removed from this location will be killed and taken to a composting facility for disposal. Strict biosecurity protocols will be followed during all stages of this process, the company said.
The CFIA has quarantined the farm and is overseeing the depopulation and disposal process while taking samples for further testing. Confirmatory testing on the samples is being conducted at the National Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory and results are expected to arrive within weeks.
Jensen said the company will also have to get rid of any equipment that cannot be disinfected, such as nets.
The virus is known to exist in the waters off BC, but the last confirmed case of IHN in farmed salmon was in 2003.
The CFIA will be conducting surveillance for this disease as well as infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) and infectious pancreatic necrosis as part of its surveillance initiative which is already underway. The measure will allow the agency to acquire a comprehensive picture of the health status of salmon in the province.
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By Natalia Real