Warning of epidemic in salmon farms
By Paul Kelbie, Scotland Correspondent
2nd June 2004
Anti-salmon farm campaigners fear that Scotland could be facing a foot-and-mouth-style epidemic after the discovery of a deadly wasting disease among stocks at more than 70 per cent of fish farms.
Infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) has been found in seven out of 10 sea cage salmon farms. Although harmless to humans, IPN can kill up to 80 per cent of susceptible fish.
A report published by the Fisheries Research Service for the Scottish Executive in December revealed that positive tests for the virus increased from less than 50 per cent in 2000 to 82 per cent in 2002.
"Infectious diseases are spreading like wildfire throughout the Scottish salmon farming sector," Don Staniford, managing director of the Salmon Farm Protest Group, said. But John Webster, of Scottish Quality Salmon, said yesterday that the fears had been exaggerated.