GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) — New Yorkers are cheering and Kansans are jeering a decision this week from the Obama administration on an animal disease research lab.
The president’s proposed 2013 budget halts spending on a proposed $650 million laboratory to study highly contagious diseases that endanger the nation’s livestock.
The lab has been on Plum Island, 100 miles east of New York City, since the 1950s. Homeland Security officials have announced plans to build a new lab in Kansas. But questions have arisen over whether the cattle-heavy heartland would be the best place to study animal diseases.
Kansas officials argue technology has improved and there’s little risk of disease escaping. New York officials counter that the lab at Plum Island still does valuable work and should not be scrapped during tough economic times.