Report Cites Need For NBAF

By: Posted by Melissa Brunner
By: Posted by Melissa Brunner

(WIBW) - A new federal report reiterates the need for a new, centralized national lab to address foreign animal diseases.

The National Academies report is a boost for effort to build the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility near the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan.

The National Academies of Science was asked to study three options: maintaining current laboratory facilities at Plum Island, New York and outsourcing work on large animal diseases; building the NBAF as proposed for Manhattan, Kansas; and scaling back the current plans for the facility.

The report concludes that even with renovations, there is no guarantee Plum Island would be able to meet the increased needs of foot and mouth research. It states that money to renovate and maintain the aging Plum Island location would put a strain on the system- money that could be used for research.

The report goes on to state that building a national facility for animal health is "imperative."

However, what size and scope the facility will take is a question which remains unanswered in the report. The National Academies says DHS and USDA did not provide sufficient data on cost savings of a reduced scope. The report says it is possible that a scaled-back NBAF along with a national network of labs could meet needs. However, no such network currently exists. Regardless of how large NBAF ends up being, the report recommends a national network of labs be developed.

If the facility is built as planned in Manhattan, the report suggests the Department of Homeland Security seek alternative sources for funding. It mentions public-private partnerships that support a lab in Australia.

"Clearly this report validated the important need for NBAF- that it’s time to move forward, that there’s a national threat that has to be addressed and so either the building is kept as it’s currently designed or perhaps a slightly scaled down version is what they’re recommending... I think at this point, this really does become a Department of Homeland Security decision to move forward and what to do. I think we should be past the studies. This has been studied to death. It’s time to move on, get construction going and move the project forward," said Ron Trewyn, the Vice President for Research at Kansas State University.

"It’s huge for Kansas State University because it makes Kansas State University a major research center also. We can’t forget the ties to Kansas State University and also the corridor for I-70 and the animal research corridor that Governor Brownback’s trying to develop so it’s very important for our whole region, not just Manhattan," added Manhattan Mayor Loren Pepperd.

CONTACT: Garrette Silverman (Moran) – 202-224-6521

Andrea Candrian (Roberts) – 202-224-4774

Sherriene Jones-Sontag (Brownback) – 785-368-7138

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 13, 2012

Senators Roberts, Moran and Governor Brownback:

NAS Study finds NBAF "Imperative"

Lawmakers call on DHS to move forward and begin construction immediately

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, along with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, today issued the following joint statement on the release of the National Academies of Science’s (NAS) report An Analysis of the Requirements and Alternatives for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory Capabilities:

“The NAS findings are crystal clear: without the capabilities NBAF provides, our country is at risk from foreign animal disease threats. The NAS fittingly recognizes that the need for a centralized laboratory focused on research, diagnostics and surveillance is imperative. That laboratory should be NBAF – and it starts with construction of the central utility plant. We are pleased this promising review concludes any outstanding evaluations of NBAF. Because the NAS study shows that the need for a facility like NBAF has increased over time, we call on DHS to move forward with the land transfer and for construction to begin immediately.”

CONTACT: Garrette Silverman (Moran) – 202-224-6521

Andrea Candrian (Roberts) – 202-224-4774

Sherriene Jones-Sontag (Brownback) – 785-368-7138

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 13, 2012

Senators Roberts, Moran and Governor Brownback:

NAS Study finds NBAF "Imperative"

Lawmakers call on DHS to move forward and begin construction immediately

Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, along with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, had positive reaction for the report.

“The NAS findings are crystal clear: without the capabilities NBAF provides, our country is at risk from foreign animal disease threats," they said in a joint statement. "The NAS fittingly recognizes that the need for a centralized laboratory focused on research, diagnostics and surveillance is imperative. That laboratory should be NBAF – and it starts with construction of the central utility plant. We are pleased this promising review concludes any outstanding evaluations of NBAF. Because the NAS study shows that the need for a facility like NBAF has increased over time, we call on DHS to move forward with the land transfer and for construction to begin immediately.”


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