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Cooke Culls Fish After ISA Suspicion

21 February 2012, at 12:00am

CANADA - Cooke Aquaculture has humanely euthanised two cages of fish in Nova Scotia after routine testing raised suspicion of the Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) virus.

This voluntary action is considered as a proactive fish health management strategy employed by salmon farmers around the world, one that has been taken by Cooke Aquaculture after thorough risk evaluation.

On Feb 10, 2012 the suspicion of ISA was raised during routine fish health surveillance and testing at a salmon farm in Nova Scotia.

Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) is a naturally occurring virus that spreads slowly and is present in wild fish in many parts of the world, including eastern Canada and the United States. Because ISA is present in the natural environment, salmon farmers have learned to manage it over many years.

The presence of ISA has NOT been confirmed and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is continuing its testing. While ISA is harmful to salmon, it poses no risks to human health.

While this is only a suspect case of ISA, Cooke has taken the extremely proactive fish health approach of euthanizing the affected fish immediately rather than waiting for further testing results by the CFIA, which could take several weeks.

Quick voluntary action on issues of a fish health nature is a standard operating procedure for Cooke Aquaculture and these measures go above and beyond regulatory requirements. These actions are viewed as extremely positive and proactive measures in terms of animal welfare and virus control.

The suspect fish will not be sold for human consumption even though they pose no human health risk. They have been disposed of in an approved manner in compliance with the Province of Nova Scotia and CFIA.

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