Whilst we do not yet have a definitive source for the Foot and Mouth outbreak as yet, all the signs point to this having been an outbreak caused by an accidental (or more alarmingly, deliberate) escape of the disease from a Government controlled Laboratory just a few miles up the road from the farm where the out break has occurred. Scientists have already identified the pathogen as that which ravaged the country in 1967 and which has not been seen outside a laboratory since that time. Perhaps it will yet be shown to have been dormant in some place nearby all the time but the reality is that this will be deemed to have escaped from the lab.

Before the spin starts, as it will, let us remember that ultimately it is the Government that is responsible for both the physical security of this lab and for the legislative framework for ensuring that security. Given that foot and mouth swept the country in 2001, putting the Government on notice that it had to look to our defences against such outbreaks, any failure in that security, whether by negligence or deliberate act, is down to this government and this government alone and cannot be blamed on anyone else. The Pathogen should not get out of the building, but it has and prima facie that is down, ultimately, to the government.

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