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Devastation in salmon farms in New Brunswick

CANADA - The federal government is spending $90,000 studying a virus that can devastate salmon farms.

Infectious salmon anemia forced New Brunswick salmon farmers to slaughter more than a million fish nearly a decade ago. It was discovered in farmed Nova Scotia salmon in 1999 but in much smaller numbers.

"It has the potential to spread to other species and be a disease of national significance and have a big impact on trade," said Dr. Archie Stewart, acting director of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s aquatic animal health division.

The agency wants to determine whether the virus can be eradicated or managed, said the veterinarian.

"We want to protect the (salmon farming) industry, we want to protect livelihoods," he said.

Ottawa is considering making infectious salmon anemia a reportable disease. That would mean veterinarians, fish farmers and laboratories must inform the feds of any suspected outbreak.

Source: The Chronicle Herald

the Fish Site Editor

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