Aquaculture for all

ISA in British Columbia - Non Conclusive

Salmonids Health +1 more

CANADA - Last week, the Canadian Food Agency confirmed infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) at a commercial aquaculture facility in Nova Scotia. This week the Canadian government has been notified of a suspected ISA finding by a private laboratory based on samples collected in British Columbia.

These tests have not been confirmed by the National Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory System (NAAHLS) laboratory, which uses internationally recognised test methods.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the virus must be isolated and identified before infectious salmon anaemia can be confirmed. Given the way the original samples were preserved, virus isolation will not be possible. There are additional concerns with the sampling and testing methods used.

In recent years, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia have tested over 5000 wild and farmed salmon in British Columbia for infectious salmon anaemia. None have ever tested positive.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will work with the private laboratory to send the samples for testing and analysis at the NAAHLS laboratory run by Fisheries and Oceans Canada; however, due to the poor quality of the samples it is unlikely that the NAAHLS laboratory will be able to verify the result.

In addition, the CFIA is working on a surveillance initiative to ascertain the status of various aquatic animal diseases such as infectious salmon anaemia on the west coast, starting this spring. On February 24, 2012, the CFIA announced the surveillance plan and is seeking comments. Under this programme, fish will be tested for three diseases: infectious haematopoietic necrosis, infectious pancreatic necrosis and infectious salmon anaemia.

To request a copy of the detailed draft surveillance initiative, or to submit comments, contact Comments will be accepted until March 16, 2012.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on ISA in Nova Scotia by clicking here.
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