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Still Waters

UK lab destroys animal-killing virus stocks

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Still Waters

Scientists have destroyed the UK's laboratory stocks of a virus that once caused devastating cattle losses.

These stocks accounted for most of the world's lab samples of rinderpest, which were held at The Pirbright Institute in Surrey.

Rinderpest and the deadly smallpox virus are the only diseases to have been eradicated from the face of the Earth.

BBC News had exclusive access to the destruction of the final samples.

Dr Carrie Batten, from The Pirbright Institute, described the moment as "the end of an era".


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I am against this, sure these virus are extremely dangerous, but what if somewhere in its specific genetic code there's a solution for a future problem?

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The article says that they have recorded the genetic information from the samples before destroying them.  The potential is still there for research, without the danger.

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