NBAF construction remains stalled

Safety and budget concerns continue to stall a proposed U.S. government facility to fight animal diseases, including those that could be spread by terrorists.

Construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Center in Manhattan, Kansas, is currently on hold due to federal budget shortfalls and concern about the risk it may pose to population and livestock, especially in the event of a natural disaster, according to Reuters.

"When we were named as the site, I thought the battle was over and it was just a matter of moving ahead," Ron Trewyn, a vice president for research at Kansas State University, said, Reuters reports.

Any further movement on what is being called the future home of America's primary facility for fighting animal diseases is awaiting the results of two reports due in late June by the National Research Council on the health and safety risks posed by the center. One report will analyze the risks of the $1 billion dollar project as it is currently designed, and the other will examine a proposal to scale back or scrap the plans all together.

Decisions by Congress and partisan bickering in Washington have combined with politicians' local interests to also keep the project from moving forward, according to Reuters.

Three years ago, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded the facility to Manhattan and Kansas State University because of its location in the agricultural center of the country and the university's reputation as a leading veterinary medicine institution.