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UK identifies foot and mouth source

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Friday released the findings of its investigation on the source of linkurl:last month's;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53473/ foot and mouth disease outbreak that had been traced to three neighboring labs in Pirbright, Surrey, which worked with the virus. As we linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53474/ at the time, original speculations faulted the site's drainage system, which, overwhelmed by heavy rains, could ha

By | September 10, 2007

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Friday released the findings of its investigation on the source of linkurl:last month's;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53473/ foot and mouth disease outbreak that had been traced to three neighboring labs in Pirbright, Surrey, which worked with the virus. As we linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53474/ at the time, original speculations faulted the site's drainage system, which, overwhelmed by heavy rains, could have leaked contaminated water. But the government investigation also squarely faults bad biosecurity practices. Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive of the HSE outlined the screw-ups in a linkurl:press release;http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2007/e07032.htm - "Our report shows that during the period of our investigation both human and vehicle movements at Pirbright were not adequately controlled. We conclude that failure to keep complete records was not in line with accepted practice and represents a breach in biosecurity at the site. In particular, vehicles associated with ongoing construction work had relatively unrestricted access to the site. In our opinion, these construction activities - very near to the effluent drainage system - are likely to have caused disturbance and movement of soil in a way that contaminated some of the vehicles with the live virus. We established that some of the vehicles, probably contaminated, drove from the site along a road that passes the first infected farm."

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