Washington (AP) Concerns are being raised over a Bush administration effort to move research on foot-and-mouth animal disease from an isolated island laboratory to the U.S. mainland
near herds of livestock.
Skeptical congressional democrats are demanding to see internal documents that they think will show the risks of a foot-and-mouth outbreak that could devastate the livestock industry.
Sites in Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas and Mississippi are being considered for the new lab, which would open in 2014.
A foot-and-mouth epidemic seven years ago in Britain devastated that country's livestock industry. The government was forced to kill six million sheep, cows and pigs.
The White House says modern lab safety rules are sufficient to avoid any U.S. outbreak.
The existing lab in New York's Long Island Sound is accessible only by ferry or helicopter. Homeland security which now runs it, thinks a move would save money.