Landcatch declare supreme ISA-free status for its salmon eggs from Scotland – Fishupdate.com

Landcatch declare supreme ISA-free status for its salmon eggs from Scotland Published:  13 November, 2008

Landcatch Ltd, the specialist international salmon breeding company, has issued the strongest possible health and quality statement in support of its supply of eggs to Chilean producers from its unique land-based operation in Scotland.

‘We’ve been suc cessfully supplying salmon eggs to customers in Chile for more than 20 years and have no doubts whatsoever concerning the supreme health and quality of our 2008/2009 supplies,’ said Alan Stewart, Landcatch business development director, speaking from Landcatch Chile’s headquarters in Puerto Montt.

‘There is obvious uncertainty surrounding the health status of some supplies of imported eggs to Chile. I wish to make it clear, therefore, that no such uncertainty exists concerning Landcatch eggs from Scotland.

‘I also believe that a considerable amount of misinformation is circulating in Chile concerning the general health status of salmon stocks in Scotland. I therefore want to make the following points clear.

‘Landcatch is absolutely free of ISA. In fact, the whole of Scotland and the rest of the UK is free of ISA, irrespective of whatever statements have been made which suggest otherwise.

‘As an extra precaution however, Landcatch will screen all its 2008 broodstock for ISA to give our customers full confidence in our health status.

‘The truth concerning Scotland’s ISA status is that the Scottish government has an internationally recognised surveillance programme for ISA which has maintained the country’s ISA-free status throughout the last 10 years. In fact, Scotland is the only country to have successfully controlled ISA, a status which has been achieved through health regulations that have been rigorously applied and adhered to.

‘Landcatch stock also demonstrate high levels of resistance to viral diseases, including PD, in Scotland, Ireland and Norway, particularly when compared with competitor stocks in these countries.

‘Landcatch will also screen all its 2008 broodstock for SAV, the causative agent of PD.

‘Landcatch stock have an excellent health, survival and performance record in Chile, a record which has been established over 20 years of successful egg and smolt production. This is because Landcatch operates the highest health and biosecurity standards in the industry, anywhere in the world.

‘In contrast to being a risk for the Chilean industry, SPF stock from Landcatch’s closed herd, land-based facility at Ormsary, Argyll, should actually form part of Chile’s solution to the ISA problems. We are the solution not part of the problem.

‘There is far greater of risk of infection being introduced from other sources of supply than from the secure ISA-free unit that Landcatch operates at Ormsary.

‘There is also a very high probability of a shortfall in ‘clean’ eggs being supplied from within Chile in 2009-2010.’

Mr Stewart added: ”I fully recognise that these statements are strong and direct. However, I believe the current situation justifies such clarity and directness.

‘Finally, let me deal specifically with the calls for a ban on all egg imports. I believe that I have already shown that a blanket ban, as proposed, would be totally irrelevant. The health status of Landcatch eggs from Scotland is not in doubt. Equally, our standards of health control are second to none anywhere in the world.

‘A blanket ban on egg imports would merely deprive Chilean producers of access to clean eggs and improved genetic material. The key issue is not where next season’s eggs come from but that they must be shown to be disease free. Currently, there is far more risk attached to sourcing eggs from broodstock reared in marine sites within Chile than there is from bringing eggs into the country from proven and well regulated breeding companies, such as Landcatch.

‘We believe strongly in the continuing strength and potential of the Chilean industry and remain wholly committed to the health and robustness of the industry here. We look forward to serving Chilean producers successfully for at least another 20 years of growth and development.”

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