UK’s negligence might lead to animal disease outbreaks: Committee
The UK Public Accounts Committee warns that the principal animal disease control facility in the United Kingdom is in catastrophic condition due to a lack of management and investment.
The UK Public Accounts Committee said, on Wednesday, that the principal animal disease control facility in the United Kingdom is in catastrophic condition due to a lack of management and investment, leaving the country exposed to significant animal disease outbreaks.
In a statement, the Committee reported that the UK’s main animal health facility at Weybridge has been left to deteriorate to an alarming extent.
"The risk of a zoonotic (animal sourced) disease is real and the consequences can be devastating as the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in 2001 and most recently Avian Influenza have shown," it added.
The Committee also warned that the facility is nearly incapable of dealing with animal disease concerns because the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) failed to provide proper management and investment in the site.
It is worth noting that the report recalled that the last big incident at the plant happened in 2014, when backup generators failed, causing power outages in some high-containment buildings, which might have resulted in a pathogen leak.
According to the report, Defra designed a renovation program that is expected to cost 2.8 billion pounds ($3.3 billion) over 15 years, but the Treasury has not yet agreed to fully fund it.