Pirbright strikes again? + more H5N1 culling

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Merial’s ‘probable’ FMD leak

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has admitted that an “internal” leak has taken place at the Merial laboratory at Pirbright. Mr Benn says it’s “possible that live FMD virus had entered the contained drainage system”. They think Foot and Mouth Disease escaped through a leaking valve last week, but according to an inspection team the virus was not released into the environment.

That’s fine. We know Pirbright has the best biosecurity systems in the world. At least as good as the government’s data management.

Culling at suspect site 5

Defra yesterday declared a fifth site to be a ‘Dangerous Contact’ and began culling thousands of birds there. This cull will include 56,000 ducks, 9,000 turkeys and 3,000 geese. Bird flu has been confirmed at the original site of this autumn’s outbreak and another nearby site owned by the same company.

Get the latest updates from Defra here. To view the latest restriction zones, see their interactive map here.

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