Foot in Mouth
Some interesting news from the United Kingdom.
A biosecurity failure at a research laboratory has been pinpointed as the likeliest source of Britain's foot and mouth outbreak.A Hoof and Mouth disease outbreak is serious business. Its highly contagious and can be easily spread. Areas that are afflicted with it have to be placed under quarantine like conditions A 2001 outbreak in the UK caused thousands of British Cattle to need being slaughtered.
An inquiry by scientists is centring on fears that the virus escaped from the Pirbright laboratory site in Surrey, the only centre licensed to work with the foot and mouth virus. It is feared that the virus, carried on the wind, infected cattle grazing in a field three miles away.
Merial has been developing a foot and mouth vaccine at the laboratory site it shares with the Institute for Animal Health
A private pharmaceuticals company, Merial Animal Health, which has been developing a foot and mouth vaccine, shares the Pirbright site with the government-funded Institute for Animal Health (IAH), which holds 5,000 strains of the virus.
The Institute of Animal Health director Martin Shirley today said the IAH operated under strict bio-security procedures licensed by Defra, and there had been no breaches of the laboratory's strict biosecurity procedures.
He said the Institute was continuing to co-operate with Defra in tracing the source of the infection, which was discovered on the farm near the village of Normandy on Friday
Officials have not ruled out the possibility that such a release of the virus was deliberate. Both centres, however, pride themselves on their tight security record.
I'm sure Merial takes many precautions, but as long as there are humans, human error will happen. TFM isn't a believer in conspiracy theories, but I'm not naive either. As long as research like this and into other diseases are done, outbreaks will happens because mistakes will happen. I guess we have to live with these dangers in order to live in a healthier world.
Hat tip- Captain's Quarters. Ed thinks if this outbreak is bad, it could have implications for the Gordon Brown government.
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