Lerøy hit hard by BKD: 12 out of 15 infected sites belong to company

Editorial Staff

“Spread has in all probability occurred via the movement of equipment or vessels between the facilities at Lerøy,” says Food Safety Authority.

Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD), a serious disease affecting both wild and farmed salmon, has been identified at 12 of Lerøy’s aquaculture facilities in central Norway since January last year, according to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

BKD is caused by the bacterium Renibacterium salmoninarum and can lead to severe kidney damage and mortality in salmon. It is a slow-growing bacterium, making early detection and containment challenging. The disease is particularly problematic because it can spread vertically from parent fish to offspring and horizontally between fish through water and equipment.

It now appears that 12 out of the 15 facilities in central Norway where BKD has been detected belong to Lerøy, one of the largest salmon farming companies in Norway, according to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet Børsen.

“The first two facilities where BKD was detected were Lerøy’s facilities Ringholmen and Gunnarøya, which are close to each other,” Aud Skrudland of the Food Safety Authority Region Midt told the newspaper.

“Spread has in all probability occurred via the movement of equipment or vessels between the facilities at Lerøy. In some cases, we also cannot rule out spread between installations in the sea,” said Skrudland.

Lerøy has responded by implementing stringent biosecurity measures, including intensified washing and disinfection protocols when moving equipment between locations.

Lerøy’s general manager Harald Larssen stated that there are currently no fish known to be infected with BKD in any of the company’s cages. The company has increased its washing and disinfection requirements when moving equipment between locations.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority continues to monitor the situation and has imposed strict measures to prevent further spread of the disease.


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