Select Committee on Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Written Evidence

Memorandum 41

Supplementary evidence from the Institute for Animal Health following oral evidence session on 31 March 2008

Past discussions on Level 4 facilities at Pirbright

"Q294 Chairman: Level 4 large animal containment facilities; I understood when we went to Pirbright that that was part of the original plan."

  I would like to clarify the status of Level 4 large animal facilities during preparation of the plans for the Pirbright Site Redevelopment Programme (PSRP). Basically, Level 4 large animal containment facilities were considered within the planning and discussion stages of the PSRP but, as far as I know, were not part of any formal plan or formal design for the new facility.

  During 2004, many discussions were held between the senior management team within IAH, including the then Senior Responsible Owner and chair of the PSRP board, and these internal discussions highlighted both the very significant capital outlay and the very high recurrent running costs needed to maintain the physical, intellectual and technical competency in an area of research requiring large animals maintained within high containment. Given the limited funding available for PSRP, the internal decision was taken, possibly mindful of other discussions outside of IAH on the need for any national facility of this type, that no Level 4 large animal facilities should be included within the detailed plans for the new facility at Pirbright.

May 2008

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