Biggs Avian Research Building at The Pirbright Institute officially opens

The facility will undertake research into infectious poultry diseases
calendar icon 24 February 2023
clock icon 3 minute read

Professor Melanie Welham, executive chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), officially opened The Biggs Avian Research Building yesterday at The Pirbright Institute in the UK, according to a press release from the institute. 

The Biggs Avian Research Building will increase the Institute’s capacity to undertake research into infectious diseases of poultry, in both endemic and exotic diseases. This research is key to not only improving the health and welfare of poultry, but also protecting both UK and global food security. The facility will continue to support Pirbright research programmes including the improvement of current vaccines and the creation of vaccines where they don’t currently exist, including paving the way for universal vaccines against several different strains of virus such as avian influenza.

Construction of The Biggs Avian Research Building was part of a £350m strategic capital investment from government through BBSRC as part of its continued commitment to support the UK’s world-leading position in bioscience and innovation through development of the Pirbright campus.

The new poultry facility has been designed and constructed to give birds more space and includes a bespoke LED blend lighting system that follows a diurnal dawn to dusk cycle. The lighting system will allow the birds to exhibit natural behaviours, therefore refining their experience and maximising their welfare.

Supporting The Biggs Avian Research Building is a robust engineering system and procedural biosafety controls that ensures the safety of those working within the facility as well as the environment outside.

The Biggs Avian Research Building is named in recognition of the eminent poultry scientist, Professor Peter Biggs, who worked at the Houghton Grange site in Cambridgeshire and which subsequently became part of the Institute for Animal Health. Professor Biggs was the first to isolate a herpesvirus, the causative agent of Marek’s disease, and was awarded a CBE in 1987.

Professor Bryan Charleston, Director of The Pirbright Institute, said: “This building provides an important new facility for the UK and international partners to study important diseases of poultry to develop measures to prevent disease and improve welfare and productivity”.

"The UK is a world leader in its scientific response to disease outbreaks such as avian influenza and The Biggs Avian Research Building will bolster the UK's position as a global leader in this crucial area of bioscience," said professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of BBSRC.

“As a front runner in the study of diseases like avian influenza, it is mission critical that staff at The Pirbright Institute have the right infrastructure and facilities needed to deliver world-class research outcomes for the benefit of the UK and our international partners and The Biggs Avian Research Building does just that," Welham added.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.