Feds test are good news

Federal government tests find no cases of ISA

News that no Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) was detected in follow up testing
of Pacific salmon samples by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is welcome
information for B.C.’s salmon farmers.

Following up on unconfirmed results publicized widely by anti-salmon farm
campaigners four weeks ago, the CFIA tested the same sample collection plus
additional samples collected and had no positive results for ISA.

“This is a significant result for everyone involved: researchers, regulators,
wild salmon advocates, salmon farmers and our coastal communities,” said Mary
Ellen Walling, Executive Director. “After seeing the original news distributed
in such an inflammatory way, we hope this update will allay those concerns.”

On Oct. 17, Simon Fraser University hosted a press conference claiming that
positive results had been found in two of 48 smolt samples tested for ISAv.
This was contrary to every other previous test for ISA in BC with nearly 5,000
fish analyzed since 2003. They all showed negative for the virus.

In the follow up testing done by CFIA, all of those 48 smolts tested negative
as did other samples collected by CFIA from researchers involved. Some samples
were too degraded for testing to be completed.

The allegation that ISA had been found in BC was concerning to BC salmon
farmers who, while confident that the extensive testing showed ISA is not on
their farms, were worried about the possible effect of the virus which is
harmful to Atlantic salmon. Pacific salmon are relatively immune to ISAv.

“This is a good example of why proper sampling, testing and reporting
procedures are in place and should be followed: the unconfirmed report from
Simon Fraser appeared to be designed to create as much hype as possible.  This
has cost significant resources in time and money in emergency follow-up while
also potentially impacting international markets for our business,” said

“We’re pleased to see the thorough way CFIA is following up, but are dismayed
at the way campaigners used this to create fear about our operations,” said

The BCSFA understands that the investigation by the CFIA is continuing. The
industry is providing any additional information to the CFIA as needed. In the
meantime, our farmers continue in their regular, ongoing sampling/monitoring

The BCSFA represents salmon farm companies and those who supply services and
supplies to the industry. Salmon-farming provides for 6,000 direct and indirect
jobs while contributing $800-million to the provincial economy each year.


For more information
Mary Ellen Walling
Executive Director,
(250) 203-2974

To contact a BCSFA spokesperson in Vancouver, phone Colleen
Dane, Communications Manager, BCSFA (250) 203-1532.

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