ARCHIVED - Salmon disease surveillance in British Columbia

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Wild Finfish Surveillance

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) surveyed and tested for the presence of three federally reportable aquatic diseases; infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN), pancreatic necrosis (IPN) and infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) in wild and enhanced anadromous salmonids and steelhead trout in British Columbia (B.C.) between 2012 and 2013.

During this period, 8,006 samples of trout and salmon species were collected. All of the samples were tested for ISA, 6,734 were tested for IPN, and 1,272 were tested for IHN. All tests were negative.

Summary Report: Status Update on the Surveillance of Wild and Enhanced Anadromous Salmonids in British Columbia during 2012 and 2013

Farmed Finfish Surveillance

The CFIA evaluated the existing recent surveillance data collected by the salmon farming industry as well as the federal and provincial government. The evaluation found no current or historical evidence of ISA or IPN in farmed salmon.

Summary Report: Epidemiological Evaluation of Surveillance Activities in British Columbia Farmed Salmon

In spring 2014, the CFIA began carrying out additional ISA-related surveillance of B.C. farmed salmon that will also enhance the current data for the non-pathogenic strain of the disease.

National Finfish Surveillance

The CFIA is conducting a thorough assessment of the health status of finfish across Canada for regulated diseases and OIE diseases of concern. The evaluation may pinpoint the requirement for additional sampling for one or more of these diseases in both marine and freshwater finfish in B.C. and other parts of the country.

Samples collected under the CFIA's surveillance programs are tested at the National Aquatic Animal Health Laboratories using internationally accepted testing protocols. Fish samples are typically screened using a test method called reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Should any positive results be obtained they will be confirmed using another internationally accepted testing method such as cell culture or another molecular test.

If a federally reportable disease, a new and emerging disease, or any other diseases of significant importance to Canada, is confirmed, the Agency may:

  • conduct further testing as required,
  • implement movement controls,
  • launch an investigation to determine the source of the disease,
  • implement quarantine measures on affected facilities,
  • require the humane destruction and disposal of infected fish,
  • oversee cleaning and disinfecting of affected facilities.

The Agency updates confirmed cases of federally reportable aquatic animal diseases monthly. In order to receive these updates, you are encouraged to subscribe to the Email Notification Services: Animal Information.

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