Friday, September 7, 2007

Biocontainment update.

It's finally official; the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK was due to poor maintenance at the government operated Institute for Animal Health (IAH) at Pirbright in Surrey. IAH operated at the highest levels of biosecurity; disease escapes were essentially impossible, or, at least that's what University of Wisconsin, Madison spokespersons repeatedly told the public as they tried and failed to sell the idea of hosting Homeland Security's NBAF, another lab that will be working at the highest levels of biosecurity.

UK Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said, "There can be no excuse for the fact that foot and mouth escaped from the Pirbright facility. It should not be possible."

In other news concerning the risks of trusting "experts" in matters associated with infectious disease research and biocontainemt, the Sunshine Project has uncovered additional instances of the system's failure and the resultant risk to public health.

The people telling us that all is well, not to be alarmed, are the same ones telling us that the animals used in these labs are well cared for.


Anonymous said...

Same lab blamed for new foot and mouth case

· Preliminary tests point to Pirbright facility
· NFU warns industry still facing desperate time

David Adam and Rachel Williams
Friday September 14, 2007
The Guardian

The virus that sparked the latest case of foot and mouth disease in Surrey this week came from the same Pirbright laboratory that triggered last month's outbreak, according to preliminary tests, officials confirmed yesterday.


Anonymous said...

From The Sunday TimesSeptember 16, 2007

EU scorns British foot and mouth errors
Richard Woods and Brendan Montague

HILARY BENN, the environment secretary, is facing fresh embarrassment after a senior European Union official said that biosecurity at the government site blamed for the foot and mouth outbreak was a “parody”.


Anonymous said...

No matter how secure anything anywhere is, there is always going to be a way in. Or in this case, a way to get out. Nothing can ever be 100% secure and safe.