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Created on Monday, 10 February 2014
THE biggest producer of farmed salmon in the Faroe Islands, Bakkafrost, has revealed that three routine samples of its fish have tested positive for the infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus, although it has not yet been confirmed whether the strain is pathogenic.
The company hastens to add that the detection of a possible pathogenic ISA-virus is not connected to any increase in mortality, and there is no impact on fish health or fish welfare.
Three of the routine surveillance samples for RT-PCR analyses taken at farm A80, Selatrað by the Veterinary authority, have been tested ISAV-positive.
Further sequencing of these three ISA-virus positive samples showed a deletion in the HPR-region in one sample. However, post-mortem examination of fish in the farm did not show any pathological signs of ISA.
Bakkafrost has decided to activate the ISA-contingency plan immediately and so has enforced slaughtering of the last cage on the farming site A-80 Selatrað. The farm will be empty within some days. The average weight per fish is estimated to be approximately 5kg.
PCR-analyses on new samples from the farm showed the same deletions in the HPR-region and hence a possibility of the presence of ISA.
The farming companies and the authorities have put a lot of work into maintaining the good biological status in the Faroe Islands. Regular surveillance tests for ISA-viruses have been performed at all farms during the last 10 years.
Bakkafrost will send out a stock announcement, when the final results are available from the site in Selatrað, confirming or denying the suspicion of the pathogen variants of the ISA-virus.