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Last Friday the IHN virus was detected after routine monitoring at one of Mainstream Canada's Tofino-area farms.
"Unfortunately, our Millar Channel farm has tested positive in qPCR tests for the IHN (Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis) virus," said Fernando Villarroel, the company's managing director. "We are waiting for results from confirmatory tests."
Mainstream Canada has been monitoring its Clayoquot farm sites closely after the Dixon Bay farm experienced an IHN outbreak in May, 2012 and was completely emptied as a result. Millar Channel is 6.5 kilometres away from Dixon, the nearest farm site. The fish at Millar Channel are small, approximately 400 grams on average.
Late Friday evening, Mainstream Canada was notified that the qPCR test results from the Provincial Animal Health Lab showed the presence of the virus at Millar. Following protocols set in place with the Dixon outbreak, the farm site was immediately isolated, and the company is following strict protocols to limit the spread of the virus. CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) has been notified and their investigation will follow.
There is currently no increased fish mortality at the Millar farm and any further actions by the company will be in co-operation with Canadian authorities.
Because of the length of time between the cases, and strict biosecurity measures followed by Mainstream, it is highly unlikely the virus at Millar Channel came from Dixon Bay farm which experienced an outbreak in May. Migrating wild salmon, natural carriers of the virus, are a more likely source.
Mainstream Canada asks all media, activists and interested members of the public to please respect biosecurity measures and stay away from the Millar Channel farm, and from our other farm sites at this time. This is crucial to helping prevent the spread of virus to any other farm sites in the area.
We will be providing regular updates as we learn more.
Media contact: Laurie Jensen, Communications and Corporate Sustainability Manager
250-286-0022 (office) email@example.com