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Future plans for the Institute for Animal Health - update

13 February 2009

At its meeting on 11 February BBSRC Council discussed future plans for the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) in light of the Government's response to the Anderson Report.

BBSRC Council confirmed that animal health and welfare research continues to be a key priority for BBSRC and IAH is a vital part of the delivery mechanism for research in this area.

BBSRC Council unanimously agreed that in the longer term IAH should become a single site Institute, based at Pirbright in line with the broad science vision set out in the report of the Council sub-group chaired by Professor Chris Gilligan which published today.

BBSRC Council agreed that IAH should have SAPO-4 large animal containment facilities and SAPO-4 laboratories at Pirbright and BBSRC Executive should work with IAH Executive and Defra to ensure long term financial sustainability.

BBSRC will now move forward urgently to prepare a business case for the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, initially for the redevelopment of Pirbright and then for the long term transfer of science from Compton. BBSRC and IAH will be working closely with staff and trade unions at IAH as these plans are developed.

BBSRC will also be making interim capital investments in facilities at Compton to underpin high quality research and national capacity in the period leading to the transfer to Pirbright.


About the Institute for Animal Health

The Institute for Animal Health (IAH) is a world-leading centre of excellence, and the major centre in the UK, for research on infectious diseases of livestock. IAH has sites at Compton in Berkshire and Pirbright in Surrey. IAH is one of five institutes of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The mission of IAH to deliver high quality fundamental, strategic and applied science into infectious animal disease and, from that knowledge, to advance veterinary and medical science, enhance the sustainability of livestock farming, improve animal welfare, safeguard the supply and safety of food, and protect public health and the environment.


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £420M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.

The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382