United Kingdom

Update on UK Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak

Most Strategic Security Blog readers are probably already aware of the recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the UK, but I thought it might be useful to post summary information on what we know to date. In short, it appears as if the virus was found on two farms, that the likely source of the virus was a research and vaccine production facility located nearby, and that there will be hell to pay if it is determined that someone at that facility is responsible for the outbreak and subsequent shut down of beef exports from the UK. The good news is that the response to this outbreak was vastly improved from a 2001 outbreak, which resulted in close to 7 million animals being destroyed. The bad news is that it was probably released from a laboratory and will no doubt spark new concerns about animal disease research. Details: An out break of FMD was confirmed on August 3rd on a farm in Surrey, according to the British Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). A second case was found at a nearby farm, but tests at two other farms were negative. The owner of the Woolford Farm, where the first disease outbreak was found, reported symptoms to his veterinarian and then DEFRA on the 2nd. DEFRA said in a statement that the strain is a 01 BFS67-like virus, isolated in the 1967 FMD outbreak in the UK. That strain was being used this past July for vaccine production at a nearby facility run by Merial Animal Health, which is jointly owned by Merck and French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis.

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Small Fuze – Big Effect

“It is not true,” British Defence Secretary Des Browne insisted during an interview with BBC radio, that a new fuze planned for British nuclear warheads and reported…

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