Lab bosses 'in denial' over role in foot and mouth scare

UK - Bosses of a laboratory at the centre of Britain's latest foot and mouth outbreak are in "a state of denial" over their involvement in the scare, furious government officials claimed last night.
calendar icon 12 August 2007
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As Britain began to relax some of its emergency defences against the disease, senior sources at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) made it clear that the controversy over the episode was far from over, with a frustrated claim that the private company Merial had still not acknowledged that it could have played a role in the outbreak.

A high-level investigation into the first outbreak of the disease at a Surrey farm last week placed the blame on the nearby Pirbright site as the most likely source of the disease. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded there was a "strong probability" that the virus originated at the laboratories, shared by Merial and the state-run Institute for Animal Health.

But Merial chiefs have consistently refused to accept responsibility for the episode, provoking frustration among government officials who are desperate to trace the source of the virus and prevent a fresh outbreak.

Source: The Scotsman
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