CHARLOTTETOWN—There’s something fishy going on in Prince Edward Island.
A professor at Atlantic Veterinary College says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is trying to discredit his work after tests he conducted showed a virus in British Columbia’s valuable wild salmon population.
Dr. Frederick Kibenge, who found the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus in October 2011, is recognized by the World Organisation for Animal Health — known as the OIE — as an expert on the virus.
Despite Kibenge’s results, and a Department of Fisheries and Oceans lab in B.C. that also found ISA, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has maintained that West Coast salmon is free of the virus, which has never been found in the province before.
If the virus is confirmed, it could have a devastating impact on the wild salmon industry in the province.
The OIE says Kibenge’s results in other cases were questioned by OIE member countries — it wouldn’t say which ones — and that it conducted an audit of his lab this summer. The organization says the “conclusions of the audit were unfavourable and showed that a series of weaknesses in the system have a direct impact on the quality of diagnosis conducted by AVC.”
Kibenge, chair of the department of pathology and microbiology and professor of virology at AVC, where he has been since 1989, says the international cases were “never questioned” when the OIE met with him. The only case talked about was in British Columbia.
The CFIA had earlier conducted its own inspection of the lab and raised concerns, which the AVC said it would address….”