June 6, 2012
Cornelius (Con) Kiley, Acting Director
Aquatic Animal Health Division, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
59 Camelot Dr.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
Dear Dr. Con Kiley
Thank you for your letter of June 4, 2012, regarding ISA virus in wild and farmed BC salmon (see below).
1. Dr. Fred Kibenge is the ISAv OIE reference lab for this continent and South America;
2. that Kibenge accurately diagnosed the arrival of ISAv in Chile;
3. that the Premier of BC and her Minister of Agriculture assured China and the U.S. that ISAv is not in BC and thus a positive result might compromise their integrity as trade partners;
4. that CFIA testimony at the Cohen Commission indicated that ISAv detection could close the border to BC farm salmon export;
5. that internal emails by and to you became exhibits of the Cohen Commission that suggest the CFIA perceives this issue as a “war” to influence public opinion;
6. that Ms. Nelle Gagne, DFO Moncton, who did the confirmatory testing of the original ISAv positive BC samples for Canada, testified that her work did not provide a “negative” result as reported by the Minister Fisheries, Keith Ashfield, but rather she reported an inconclusive result that included a weak positive (Cohen Commission, Dec. 15, 2011, page 28, line 24);
you will understand my request to see Ms. Gagne’s signed lab report on my Vedder chum sample and the T & T samples.
I remain uncertain why 9 PCR positives and 1 (HPR5) sequence for ISAv reported by the OIE’s reference lab have not been listed by the OIE under their “suspicious” classification. Provincial vet Dr. Gary Marty’s opinion that ISAv is not present in farm salmon is based on PCR results, not isolation and culture. It appears there are two different standards in play here.
I attended the CFIA briefing to First Nations on the surveillance initiative. I do not understand why you designed a survey for a European virus that will not look at the several million European salmon now in BC known to carry this virus. The stated goal in the CFIA handout provided at this meeting:
“Provide additional evidence to update the status of three diseases of significance in anadromous salmonid populations in BC”
... contrasts with my surveillance goal; to learn if ISA virus is in BC and what are its origins.
I look forward to Ms. Gagne’s reports on my samples.