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Salmon Disease Surveillance Underway in British Columbia

18 July 2012, at 1:00am

CANADA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has begun collecting and testing wild salmon off the coast of British Columbia to determine the status of three salmon diseases: infectious haematopoietic necrosis, infectious pancreatic necrosis and infectious salmon anaemia.

While all three diseases are no risk to human health, they are highly contagious and can cause mortality in wild and aquaculture salmon.

Infectious haematopoietic necrosis is known to exist in certain species and populations of wild finfish in British Columbia. The surveillance initiative will determine its presence in certain species and populations of wild finfish in British Columbia. Infectious pancreatic necrosis and infectious salmon anaemia have not been confirmed in British Columbia.

Through this initiative, approximately 5,000 wild salmon will be collected annually, for a minimum of two years. The Agency will also evaluate the ongoing testing of farmed salmon.

All disease testing, as well as any activities undertaken to respond to confirmed cases, will follow international guidelines and national aquatic animal health requirements.

Any confirmed disease cases will be reported on a monthly basis through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website as is done for all terrestrial and aquatic reportable diseases. Those interested can subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when the report is updated.

Many organisations are supporting the Agency in this initiative, including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Province of British Columbia, First Nations groups, and the aquaculture industry.

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