Why We Didn’t Want NBAF, Part 2

It looks like the FMD outbreak in England escaped from a biolab:

The foot and mouth outbreak at a farm in Surrey may have been caused by a leak from a nearby animal research laboratory.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the virus is the same as one being used at Pirbright Laboratory, just a few miles from the farm.

Defra could not say definitely if the laboratory was the source of the disease, but immediately increased the size of the protection zones covering farms in the area.

Experts said the strain was not one recently found in animals, but was similar to ones used in diagnostic laboratories and vaccine production.

In a statement, Defra said: “The present indications are that this strain is a 01 BFS67-like virus, isolated in the 1967 foot and mouth disease outbreak in Great Britain.”

The strain is present at the Pirbright site’s Institute of Animal Health and was used in a vaccine batch manufactured last month, Defra said.

The outbreak five years ago cost British farmers about $17 million and led to the slaughter of up to 10 million animals. Like this:

Deadstock

That’s why putting a lab to study FMD in the heartland is a bad idea. We haven’t had an outbreak in the U.S. since the 1929. The next one will devastate American agriculture.

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