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Health and safety
Pirbright Institute fined for safety shortcomings during FMD experiments

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THE Pirbright Institute in Surrey has been fined more than £22,000 after pleading guilty to eight breaches of the Specified Animals Pathogens Order (SAPO) 2008.

The institute was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following two incidents relating to the management of safety during experiments with cattle infected with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus in November 2012 and January 2013. The HSE says that, while neither incident resulted in the release of FMD virus into the external environment, ‘the shortcomings in control and non-compliance with licence conditions were considered serious enough to warrant legal action’. It says that the decision to prosecute has to be seen in the context that the institute is required to maintain …

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