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Agriculture and industry react to £80M boost for IAH

29 November 2011

Earlier today the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £80M of capital investment for the further development of research facilities at BBSRC's Institute for Animal Health at Pirbright.

BBSRC and IAH were joined in welcoming the news by representatives of the agriculture and industry communities:

Peter Bradnock, Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, said "The British Poultry Council welcomes this funding for developing the work of IAH at Pirbright. In particular, the science behind new vaccines against certain poultry infections will underpin sustainable growth of the poultry production to the benefit of society, the environment, and of the birds themselves. We are pleased to see this commitment to science by the Government."

Theo Kanellos, Associate Director at Pfizer Animal Health, said "The announcement of this new funding to IAH will underpin UK's and EU's research in tackling some of the most challenging Global issues like food security and emerging infectious diseases. Advancing Animal Health through innovation is essential in tackling these pressing issues."

Mark Williams, Chief Executive, British Egg Industry Council, said "This is excellent news for the egg industry. The UK is a world leader in egg production and for us to continue in this position it is vital that we have the best quality scientific research available to us. The Institute for Animal Health plays an important role in providing knowledge and tools that underpin sustainability in the poultry industry as well as supporting the highest standards of animal health and welfare. We are pleased to hear that the government continues to invest in developing the excellent work at IAH."

Carl Padgett, President of the British Veterinary Association, commented "The British Veterinary Association welcomes the Chancellor's announcement today (Tuesday) that the Institute of Animal Health (IAH) in Pirbright, Surrey, will receive £80 million to support the next phase of its redevelopment. This crucial funding will underpin UK and EU capability in research on virus infections of poultry and livestock, and will enable the IAH to expand its research into current and emerging diseases of poultry and diseases that can spread from poultry to humans, including influenza virus.

"While we in the UK enjoy some of the highest animal health and welfare standards in the world, there are major threats to animal and human health by the rapid spread of existing and emerging diseases. Given these challenges, I cannot stress too strongly the importance of protecting and developing such vital scientific research to help combat and prevent animal diseases.

"The veterinary profession will be encouraged by the Government's commitment to protecting the science base and I have every confidence that the team of world class scientific researchers at the IAH will help us to deliver a healthy future for all."

"The Chancellor's support for what he terms 'a world leading animal health laboratory' is very welcome news at any time and particularly in the current economic climate." says Roy Mutimer, general manager of Cobb Europe. "The Institute for Animal Health has led vital research into a number of the world's most significant poultry diseases, helping the UK to maintain its high health record. This is a valuable asset to us as a poultry breeding company exporting to the global market, and it reassuring to have this commitment from the Government to continue investing in helping the UK maintain this enviable status in the face of inevitable new challenges."

ENDS

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