The UK’s Institute for Animal Health will receive GBP80 million (US$124.4 million) in government funding towards the GPB100 million+ second phase of development at its Pirbright campus.

This phase will include the development of new high containment laboratories, experimental facilities and supporting infrastructure for studying avian and other animal diseases and to support the development of new vaccines and tests. “This significant investment in Pirbright will drive growth, create highly skilled jobs and improve our understanding of diseases that can have devastating effects on our rural economy, including avian flu,” said Minister for Universities and Science David Willets.

The new facilities will join the high containment laboratory currently under construction at Pirbright that is due to become operational in early 2014. “The new facilities in this next phase of development are urgently required to underpin UK and EU capability in research on virus infections of poultry and livestock," said Professor John Fazakerley, IAH director. "They will provide a single site that has a variety of bio-containment level working environments. In support of the UK’s poultry industry, we can with this investment build on previous research and innovation successes, such as vaccines against coccidiosis and Marek’s disease and the elimination of avian leukosis virus from poultry breeding stock. We will be able to expand our research into these and other important diseases of poultry and diseases that can spread from poultry to humans.”