FMD virus in Pirbright pipe, as HSE report leaked

The investigation into the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Surrey has found the virus was in a pipe on the nearby Pirbright laboratory site

, according to a leak ahead of the official publication of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report.

Virus traces were found in a pipe running from the Merial pharmaceutical firm to a treatment plant operated by a government-run lab on the same complex, according the the BBC. The pipe may have been damaged by tree roots before flooding pushed the traces to the surface, the report claimed.

The HSE's report into the outbreak is due to be published by the government this Friday (7 September). It said it does not comment on leaks, but a spokesperson confirmed "pipes are one of the four areas we were looking at" as part of the investigation into the source of the outbreak.