New UK animal disease lab?

The "shabby and dilapidated" animal disease research laboratory in Pilbright, UK — the site of last summer's linkurl:foot-and-mouth disease;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53579/ leak — must be replaced by a new, expanded research center for infectious human and animal diseases, an official report said yesterday. The independent inquiry into last summer's outbreak in southeast England said that a "creeping degradation of standards"

By | March 12, 2008

The "shabby and dilapidated" animal disease research laboratory in Pilbright, UK — the site of last summer's linkurl:foot-and-mouth disease;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53579/ leak — must be replaced by a new, expanded research center for infectious human and animal diseases, an official report said yesterday. The independent inquiry into last summer's outbreak in southeast England said that a "creeping degradation of standards" at the government-funded linkurl:Institute of Animal Health;http://www.iah.bbsrc.ac.uk/ probably led to a live virus, under development as a linkurl:vaccine,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/19550/ leaking from a fractured pipe and spreading from the site. The outbreak resulted in an export ban on British livestock that cost the industry an estimated $200m. The report, Foot and Mouth Disease 2007, described the leak as "an avoidable event... that should never have happened." "The structural and management inadequacies at and around Pilbright must be addressed urgently and comprehensively," Iain Anderson, a businessman and former government adviser who led the inquiry, told linkurl:The Daily Telegraph.;http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/03/11/eadefra411.xml He blamed an ineffective patchwork of multi-agency regulation for the leak and called on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to take sole responsibility for a new National Institute of Infectious Diseases, which would replace the current Institute of Animal Health. No major leaks have occurred from animal research laboratories in the US, but the Department of Homeland Security is planning a new linkurl:National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23091/ to replace the 55-year old Plum Island Animal Disease Center on Long Island, New York.

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