Spanish law may halt international vaccine collaborations

Spanish investigators warn that a national law governing research into foot-and-mouth disease could hinder international collaborations on the development of a vaccine for the veterinary pathogen.

Xavier Bosch
Apr 24, 2005
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Courtesy of David Stuart

Spanish investigators warn that a national law governing research into foot-and-mouth disease could hinder international collaborations on the development of a vaccine for the veterinary pathogen. In a letter made public in March, 135 scientists urged the government to reconsider a law that they say prevents the country's leading foot-and-mouth disease research institute from studying the virus.

Their protest focuses on a Spanish "royal decree" published in November that aims to enact a 2003 European Commission directive to tackle foot-and-mouth disease. Scientists were surprised to find that the Madrid-based Center of Animal Health Research (CISA), which has a long tradition of foot-and-mouth disease research, was not listed in the decree as the national center. Instead, the Central Laboratory of Animal Health (LCV) near Madrid was listed as the only reference center authorized to manipulate live foot-and-mouth disease virus for any purpose.

Scientists in the 20 Spanish...

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