Bacterial kidney disease fears in central Norway

salmon swimming in green water

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has warned of a serious risk of bacterial kidney disease (BKD) in the central fish farming area of the country known as PO6.

During the past few months another body, the Veterinary Institute reported a couple of weeks ago that it had detected at three locations in the region.

The Food Safety Authority says BKD is a serious contagious and reportable disease that can have major consequences for the health and welfare of both wild and farmed salmonids. It is therefore important to prevent the bacteria from becoming established. There is no effective treatment or vaccine.

The Authority adds that it is still unclear where the infection is coming from, adding that there has been no contact with foreign countries in the area either by a wellboat or through the importation of eggs.

And there is no suspicion of BKD infection in any of the hatcheries that have delivered smolt to the affected locations.

It adds: “Based on this, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority considers it most likely that the infection was introduced from wild fish to one of the sea locations, and that the disease has subsequently spread between facilities through contact with well boats, delousing vessels and/or other equipment that is moved between locations.”

The good news is that the Authority considers the risk of infection to wild fish to be is low.

Farmers in production area PO6 have been told to examine the fish in their facilities for the disease, particularly when it comes to broodstock.

A number of other instructions involving broodstock including checking fish that have died in the past nine months before spawning should be autopsied.




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