According to the NBAF website: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to stand up the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas. This state-of-the-art facility will be a national asset that helps protect the nation’s agriculture, farmers and citizens against the threat and potential impact of serious animal diseases.
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate has built the facility to standards that fulfill the mission needs of the USDA, which will own, manage and operate NBAF once commissioning activities are complete, which is expected later this year in 2022. USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will conduct foreign animal disease research, training and diagnostics in the facility.
The United States currently does not have a laboratory facility with maximum biocontainment (BSL-4) space to study high-consequence zoonotic diseases affecting large livestock. NBAF will be the first laboratory facility in the U.S. to provide BSL-4 laboratories capable of housing cattle and other large livestock. NBAF also will feature a Biologics Development Module (BDM) for the pilot scale development of vaccines and other countermeasures, augmenting laboratory research and accelerating technology transfer to industry partners.
NBAF’s location in Manhattan, Kansas, places it within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, the largest concentration of animal health companies in the world. NBAF is constructed and operated on a secure federally-owned site on the northeast corner of the Kansas State University (KSU) campus, adjacent to KSU’s Biosecurity Research Institute in Pat Roberts Hall.
DHS S&T leads construction activities for NBAF which remain underway. Current operations at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) will continue until the mission is transitioned to the NBAF.
The federal government will execute a plan to provide for a seamless transition of the agricultural defense mission from PIADC to the NBAF that includes an overlap of operations to make certain there is no interruption of the critical science mission and operational capabilities.
In January 2020, USDA and DHS S&T signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to outline their ongoing strategic interagency partnership at NBAF focused on national security. The MOU establishes an initial framework for scientific collaboration and identifies current areas of opportunity for collaboration which include:
- Threat Risk Assessment and Research Prioritization: To determine which transboundary, emerging animal diseases and zoonotic pathogens present the greatest risk to animal health, human health and national security. Outputs from this work will inform the process for research prioritization at NBAF.
- Research and Collaboration: To support the related USDA and DHS S&T food and agriculture missions including threat characterization and classified research; RDT&E involving biological countermeasures (vaccines, biotherapeutics and diagnostics); subject matter expert collaboration and information sharing; and partnerships.
Collaborative program areas may evolve over time. As a result, this MOU establishes a process for periodic review to ensure consistency with current missions and scopes of activities.
The Wuhan Lab was a BSL-4 lab and from there we got COVID. Is this something we want on our mainland? Perhaps its time to get the hell out of Kansas. Beware of the next pandemic. There was a full-scale exercise scheduled for Sept. 24, 2022. It was rescheduled for Oct. 15, 2022. We don’t know what that full scale exercise Due to other activities surrounding the Oct. date, the exercise and their call for civilian volunteers have been canceled. What are they planning for our livestock? Will they fill our livestock with chemicals not safe for human consumption, diseases that may be carried to the general population? In my opinion, this doesn’t sound like a good thing.