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Laboratories: Security

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which pathogens acting on (a) human and (b) animals are considered to be viable terrorist bioweapons; and what (i) guidance and (ii) security conditions are given to sites storing or studying such cultures. (158993)

I have been asked to reply.

There is a wide range of pathogens which could be considered as potential bioweapons. Guidance on hazardous pathogens and toxins, including security considerations is included within the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001). Pathogens (or derivatives) are covered under schedule 5, Order 2007 while security considerations are covered in part 7 of the Act.