The National Research Council is conducting a study to review the needs and possible scientific alternatives for a foreign animal and zoonotic disease research laboratory in the United States. The committee's first meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 13, in Washington, D.C.

Manhattan, Kan., is the proposed location for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), which would would replace the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) located approximately 2 miles off of Long Island, N.Y. The The NBAF would be the worlds fourth Biosafety Level 4 Pathogen laboratory capable of large animal research. 

The Research Council committee will look at options for the facilitly that could meet the United States' animal health, public health, and food security needs. Among those options would be to build NBAF as currently designed, building a scaled-back version of NBAF, and maintaining current capabilities at Plum Island while leveraging BSL-4 laboratory capacity of foreign laboratories.

Another Research Council committee is reviewing an updated U.S. Department of Homeland Security risk assessment for the proposed NBAF. Its work is separate from this new laboratory review committee.