New animal research facility for USDA
The new US Department of Agriculture (USDA) high-containment animal facility
combines several research facilities into one location. The new building is the
second component of a multi-phase $460 million project.
The "high-containment" designation means the building is designed for optimal
safety and security because the scientists will work with a variety of endemic,
zoonotic and foreign animal diseases in what is called Biological Safety Level 3
(BSL3) space. This includes features such as airtight walls, filtered air and
liquid waste treatment technology.
The new building contains more than 155,000 square feet and will
house cattle, bison, elk, deer, reindeer, sheep and pigs. It includes designated
areas for research by scientists with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
as well as for diagnostics-testing training and biologic product evaluation by
employees of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Largest in the world
A consolidated lab and a
low-containment animal facility are still under construction. By 2009, when the
project is expected to conclude, this complex will be one of the largest animal
health centres in the world. It will have about one million square feet of
laboratory and research facilities, including the BSL3
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