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National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility

Mark Billadeau

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Move the USDA research on FMD and other highly contagous pathogens from a research facility on an island to the middle of Kansas. So we're going from a situation where pathogens are separated from livestock by a body of water:

We're equally proud of our safety record. Not once in our nearly 50 years of operation has an animal pathogen escaped from the island.


Source: Plum Island Animal Disease Center

To a situation like that in the UK where FMD "escaped" from a research facility next to farm land: 2007 outbreak.


The epidemiological report, dated 29th August, concludes that release was most likely due to escape of live virus from the drainage system that connects the vaccine production plant to the sodium hydroxide treatment tanks on another part of the Pirbright site. Movement of the virus off site was most likely from movement of fomites (substance capable of carrying infectious organisms) created from soil, water or other material contaminated by effluent, and deposited on the road from which the track to the first infected premises leads.



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I don't know how things work in the US...but in Canada, there would have been lobbying by all sorts of groups to get the $$$ and jobs associated with something like this. Obviously, common sense didn't come into play with this choice. Hopefully, you won't have a case of 'history repeating itself' :rolleyes:

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Are they moving the research or discontinuing it at the Island location? For some reason I was thinking that each of the USDA facilities are dealing with FMD along with other diseases, the Ames facility is in our back yard, it's billed as the largest in the US, it's quite a facility that is currently being expanded: http://ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=36253000





Edit--- did some checking only the island location handles FM

D, here's more reading...interesting to say the least: http://www.hpj.com/archives/2008/may08/may...ymoveFMDres.cfm



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