Pirbright animal research laboratory given £38m cash boost

Work to investigate livestock disease at an animal research laboratory in Surrey has been given a £38m boost.

The cash for research at the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) has come from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The Pirbright laboratory will use the funds to investigate diseases spread by insects such as Bluetongue and African Horse Sickness, the BBSRC said.

IAH Director Prof John Fazakerley said it would help protect UK livestock.

Prof Fazakerley said: "This funding will enable the institute to maintain its position as a world-leading centre for research into virus diseases of livestock and viruses that can transmit from animals to humans."

The Pirbright site carries out research into avian and livestock viral diseases and "vector-borne" viral diseases, which are where infection is transmitted by other organisms such as insects.

The funding allocation was being announced by Science Minister David Willetts on Thursday.

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