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Added Security at Plum Island

October 21, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Federal officials said Monday that they planned to bolster the security force at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center after a congressional investigation found security flaws at the nation's only diagnostic facility for dangerous animal diseases.

Officials at the Long Island facility "have not adequately controlled access to the pathogens" and put measures in place to screen those with access to the biocontainment area, according to a report by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

Much of the report deals with security gaps during the Department of Agriculture's operation of the facility, which in June was turned over to the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS officials acknowledged flaws, and said they already were working to fix the problems.

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