Animal-health facility in Germany leads the way for Europe


Your News story 'Britain hits a hurdle in replacing key animal-pathogen facility' (Nature 457, 769; 2009) describes the problems faced by the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright. It is deplorable that this world-class institute is uncertain of being able to develop a key animal-pathogen facility and other adequate infrastructure.

In contrast, Germany's federal ministry of food, agriculture and consumer protection is investing nearly €300 million (US$395 million) to create a state-of-the-art facility for infectious-disease research at our institute on the Isle of Riems in the Baltic Sea. New laboratory and animal facilities will be constructed, including a biosafety-level-4 facility for large animals that is unique in Europe. The plans were developed in the mid-1990s and construction should be largely finished in time for the institute's centenary in late 2010.

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Mettenleiter, T. Animal-health facility in Germany leads the way for Europe. Nature 458, 571 (2009).

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