Friday, September 07, 2007

Lab pipe caused foot-and-mouth outbreak

Tree roots???!!!...

that kind of stuff happens at my wouldn't think a research lab would struggle with the same kind of issues...

How would you like to be the plumber that gets called to snake out that drain line?

LONDON - Investigators have determined a pipe at a research laboratory in southern England caused last month’s outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

Britain’s Health and Safety Executive found there were biosecurity lapses at the facility in Pirbright, Surrey, the BBC reported. The investigators’ official report was due to be published Friday.

The Environment Department would not comment on the report Wednesday.

The lab complex houses vaccine-maker Merial Animal Health — the British arm of U.S.-French pharmaceutical firm Merial Ltd. — and the government’s Institute of Animal Health.

Virus traces were found in a pipe running from Merial’s lab to a treatment plant operated by the government-run lab, the BBC reported, adding the pipe may have been damaged by tree roots.

Investigators found contractors working at Pirbright traveled to and from the site using a country road next to the farm where the first outbreak occurred, the BBC said.

Foot-and-mouth disease affects cloven-hoofed animals including cows, sheep, pigs and goats. It does not typically infect humans, but its appearance among farm animals can have a far-reaching economic impact.

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