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Virus Confirmed, Mainstream Begins to Empty Site

09 August 2012, at 1:00am

CANADA - The Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) virus has been confirmed at Mainstream Canada's Millar Channel farm, and the company has received an official order from CFIA to remove all fish from the site.

All fish will be removed from the farm and sent to a rendering facility. Strict biosecurity measures will be followed at all stages of depopulation, transportation, offloading, and rendering.

Millar Channel farm, located northwest of Tofino, was quarantined last week by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) after it tested positive for the IHN (Infectious Haematopoetic Necrosis) virus July 27.

There are currently no other active farms nearby.

The CFIA acted quickly to confirm the presence of the IHN virus. Normally, confirmatory tests can take weeks to get results. However, CFIA made this case a top priority and was able to get results within days.

The IHN virus was first detected in May at another farm north of Millar Channel. In both cases, the virus was detected while in its early stages of infection. Early detection of the virus shows the effectiveness of our monitoring systems and allows us to take swift and decisive actions to prevent the virus from spreading to other farms. This is solid evidence of our responsible approach to fish farm management.

As part of this approach, farms are routinely tested for common fish viruses and diseases. Since the IHN virus was first detected, Mainstream Canada has been doing additional sampling at all farms and sending them a third-party lab for testing.

As quarantine measures are in place, traffic around the farms will be restricted. This is crucial to helping prevent the spread of virus to any other farm sites in the area.

Migrating wild salmon are natural carriers of the IHN virus, and are most likely the source of the virus infection at both farms.

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The Health and Welfare of Atlantic Salmon.

It is vital that fish farm operatives who are responsible for farmed fish are trained in their health and welfare. This will help to ensure that fish are free from disease and suffering whilst at the same time promote good productivity and comply with legislation.

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