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Kansas Welcomes Advanced Animal Disease Lab
Kansas Ag Connection - 09/15/2023

In Manhattan, Kansas, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) stands as a beacon of modern research. Managed by the Department of Agriculture, it serves as a protective shield against grave animal diseases.

This facility is set to take the place of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, a structure with almost seven decades of history. Research, training, and diagnostic functions will transition from Plum Island to NBAF, showcasing collaboration between USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Dr. Kathy Simmons, Chief Veterinarian of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, spoke about her experience touring the facility. She highlighted NBAF's high-level laboratories, including the very advanced BSL-4 lab nestled at the heart of the building. Emphasizing the impeccable staffing and the smooth transition anticipated this fall, Simmons praised the facility's readiness to embrace its new role.

In a significant milestone, the Department of Homeland Security handed over the facility's keys to USDA. This handover marks a new chapter, positioning the US among the elite global community with BSL-4 animal disease facilities. Only five countries can claim this honor.

The recent dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony in May further solidified NBAF's foundational role. Many experts from Plum Island are relocating to Manhattan, and the process of transferring crucial pathogens has commenced.

This shift to NBAF not only signifies advanced research capabilities but also symbolizes the US's commitment to addressing and mitigating animal disease threats effectively.

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