May 31, 2023
Bacterial kidney disease discovered at salmon farms in central Norway
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority, Mattilsynet, has reported the detection of bacterial kidney disease (BKD), a contagious infection, at four Lerøy Midt salmon farming sites in central Norway.
Mattilsynet said BKD is either definitely present or suspected at the four farms, and the authority said it believes there is an increased risk of BKD in all facilities in Norway's salmon-farming region 6 (PO 6). It added that "measures have been put in place" to prevent further infection, including culling all affected fish in cages.
"BKD is a serious contagious and notifiable disease, which can have major consequences for the health and welfare of both wild and farmed salmon."
The authority said it is tracking the infection, and that it is not yet known how the disease – which hasn't been detected in the region in 15 years – entered the area. Mattilsynet reported it took more than a year between smolt being released into the region and for the detection of the disease at the first of the four facilities.
"This may indicate that the source of infection is not smolt, but another, for example from wild fish in the area," the authority said.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority reported that the disease appears to have spread via contact between facilities by wellboats and deworming vessels.