BBC News - US high security bio lab faces uncertain future

Plans to build one of the world's most secure laboratories in the heart of rural America have run into difficulties.

The National Bio and Agro defence facility (NBAF) would be the first US lab able to research diseases like foot and mouth in large animals.

But reviews have raised worries about virus escapes in the middle of cattle country.

And rising costs have cast doubts over the project's future.

For over 50 years the United States has carried out research on dangerous animal diseases at Plum Island, just off the coast of New York. However after 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security raised concerns about the suitability of the location and its vulnerability to terrorist attack.

After carrying out an exhaustive search for an alternative, the Department selected Manhattan, Kansas as its preferred location.

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