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Surrey Gains $164M to Build Livestock Labs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Institute for Animal Health will use £100 million ($164 million,) including £92 million from the UK government to build new laboratories that will focus on livestock pathogens and diseases.

The new government funding came from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' Large Facilities Capital Fund, and the remainder was provided by the BBSRC's capital allocation.

The new facilities will be located at IAH's Pirbright campus in Surrey.

IAH and BBSRC both conduct a wide range of bioscience research, including bovine and avian genomics programs at IAH.

"This new funding is a major boost for animal health research in the UK and great news for the UK scientific community," BBSRC CEO Douglas Kell said in a statement.

IAH's Director, Martin Shirley, said that the funding for the new lab space "recognizes the increasing threats posed by animal diseases such as foot and mouth, bluetongue, and African swine fever, which could cause massive economic and social damage.

"The investment in state-of-the-art facilities at IAH will ensure the UK is in a position to control, contain and eradicate the threats of established and emerging diseases of animals. This is particularly important now as vector-borne diseases are spreading northwards as a consequence of the changing climate," Shirley added.

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