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Foreign complaint behind audit of PEI lab

VANCOUVER - An Atlantic Veterinary College laboratory could find its international credentials suspended because of a complaint filed by another country over research into a potentially lethal salmon virus.

The facility is designated by the World Organization for Animal Health, known as the OIE, as one of only two international reference laboratories focusing on infectious salmon anaemia.

The PEI lab and the work of Fred Kibenge received national attention after Kibenge said his work on samples from B.C. sockeye salmon showed the presence of the virus, which can be devastating to farm fish and has never been detected in British Columbian waters before.

But a spokesman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says Kibenge's lab was audited after an organization member country complained that the facility's work on the virus was not consistent with findings from other researchers.

Veterinary college dean Don Reynolds says after the OIE audit, a recommendation was made to suspend the lab's OIE designation until the lab "straightened out" several issues.

Critics have suggested the Canadian Food Inspection agency has been working to silence Kibenge's work.

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