Here’s an interesting development in the unfolding “ISA in B.C.” saga.
The doctor who actually tested the fish samples and reported the virus, Dr. Fred Kibenge, is listed as a contact on a press release put out today by the Wild Fish Conservancy.
Why is that?
Kibenge referred callers to the CFIA. Yet here he is listed as a contact on a press release which, among other things, calls for Atlantic farms to be fallowed, existing stock to be destroyed and all current hatchery fish to be destroyed.
His presence on the press release aside, the statements made by Wild Fish Conservancy, which has opposed salmon farming for years while working with people looking to make a buck off alternative technologies, are offensive to Canadians and ludicrous.
And do they remind anyone of the BSE (mad cow disease) crisis nearly 10 years ago?
The Canadian beef industry was crippled. They lost millions. Because of one cow found with BSE, Canadian beef exports were shut down for four months, affecting 5,000 jobs and costing the industry $11 million per day.
Canada still has to wait until 2015 before it can apply for “negligible risk” status. Some countries won’t import more Canadian beef until Canada has that status again.
Meanwhile the beef industry has suffered long-term damage and still continues to suffer.
Because of one cow.
Here we have two tiny samples testing positive for ISA. This has not been confirmed by CFIA (which DID confirm the one mad cow case) and since the samples were apparently used up, we can’t retest.
If the disease is confirmed to actually be present in B.C. this is a disaster and perhaps some of the Wild Fish Conservancy’s suggestions should be followed.
But it hasn’t.
Researchers went right to the media before they ever received official confirmation.
And based on information no one can reproduce, we are expected to kill millions of fish and shut down the aquaculture industry.
Where is the scientific evidence for this?
Hopefully logic, reason and cooler heads – as well as good science, which always looks to reproduce test results before running to the media – will prevail before politically-motivated knee-jerk reactions needlessly do a lot of economic damage.