Sabotage Eyed In Outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth

Investigators target 'bio security' at labs making vaccine
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2007 6:17 AM CDT
A dead cow is moved from a field in Normandy, Surrey, during the foot and mouth outbreak, Tuesday August 7, 2007. Tests confirmed a second outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease southwest of London, Britain's...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – British officials are pursuing the possibility that latest outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease could be the result of sabotage, the Times reports. They've ruled out water leaks spreading the virus from a research lab to nearby farms,and have concluded that "release by human movement must be considered a real possibility," said a report prepared for Gordon Brown.

Investigators are now focusing on the possibility of equipment failure or a security breach—either accidental or deliberate. They're looking at "a number of bio security issues" at the lab operations. One is run by a government-funded research organization and the other, at the same site, is owned by the Merial pharmaceutical company.