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US shrimp farmer placed under quarantine after deadly disease finding

Company is a vocal critic of imported shrimp, which is says is riddled with bacteria and disease.

Fledgling US land-based shrimp farmer NaturalShrimp Inc. was placed under quarantine on Monday after the viral shrimp disease Infectious Hypodermal and Haematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHHNV) was discovered at its facility in La Coste, Texas.

The quarantine, issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, will remain in effect pending inspections by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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The company said it detected the disease from two post-larvae shipments from its hatchery supplier in March and April.

At the time of the receipt of the shipments, NaturalShrimp said in a statement Wednesday, it was notified by its supplier that the shipments were virus-free.

"Based on the company’s quality control procedures during the course of the shrimp farming process in the company’s tanks and, in this case the slower than normal growth rate indicating possible compromise, the company undertook to have lots independently tested by the University of Arizona Pathology Laboratory in Tucson," it said.

The tests detected the presence of IHHNV, and the facility was placed under quarantine until further notice. The quarantine notice also restricts the discharge of any culture water to state waters, and no sales of any shrimp are allowed until further notice.

The company, which has yet to produce a significant volume of shrimp, repeatedly criticizes the quality of farmed raised shrimp from Asia, which its says is riddled with bacteria and disease.

As an alternative, the penny-stock company touts its patented land-based RAS shrimp farming technology that its says kills bacteria and removes other harmful substances from the water in which the shrimp are raised.

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