Farmscape for September 18, 2023
A new research facility in Manhattan, Kansas will strengthen the ability of USDA to protect the U.S. livestock industry against transboundary, emerging, and zoonotic animal diseases.
In July the Swine Health Information Center Board of Directors and staff toured the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas and met with its directors to discuss potential future collaboration.
The facility will be operated jointly by the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg explains NBAF will replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and the tour was a chance to take a look before biosecurity protocols take effect.
Quote-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
There will be joint activities in NBAF.
The USDA Agricultural Research Service or ARS is the research arm of USDA that does agricultural research.
They will be in that facility doing research on a variety of different livestock.
This is an upgrade from the research facilities that were on Plumb Island.
On Plumb Island it was a biosafety level three facility and here it's biosafety level four.
It's an upgrade.
It allows for research to be done on high consequence zoonotic animal diseases that can affect both livestock and people.
They didn't have that opportunity, that ability at a level three facility on Plum Island.
So that's ARS.
That's the ARS side of NBAF.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or APHIS is the testing laboratory people that will also be at NBAF.
They are currently also on Plum Island.
They're the ones that run the national diagnostics for the agriculture industry and they will be moving to these new facilities in Manhattan as well.
Dr. Sundberg says the transition from Plum Island to Manhattan, Kansas is now underway and will be phased in through the rest of this year and into next year and will hopefully be complete by the end of 2024.
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