The federal government has launched an investigation after two labs got different results on whether infectious salmon anemia was present in two fish from British Columbia.
Last month Rick Routledge, a professor at Simon Fraser University, announced two salmon he had tested by Charlottetown’s Atlantic Veterinary College had traces of infectious salmon anemia. News that the virus could be in B.C. caused serious concerns in the fish-farming industry. Opponents say the presence of ISA would suggest a link between fish farming and the decline in wild salmon.
But retesting of the samples at a Fisheries and Oceans Canada lab in Moncton couldn’t confirm the presence of ISA.
The federal government is now reviewing the whole process, including the collection and handling of the samples in BC, and testing procedures at both labs.
"You have to determine whether or not that test has been properly validated," said Peter Wright, manager of the Fisheries and Oceans lab.
"This is what provides anybody with the confidence in test results."
In an email to CBC News Fred Kibenge, the director of the lab at AVC, said the results given to the Routledge weren’t conclusive. Kibenge said further testing needed to be done to confirm ISA was present.
He said his lab has no control over how a client uses test results once they’ve been released to them.