Hannibal Lecter’s new home?

By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

Immortalized in the Silence of the Lambs as a possible repository for Hannibal Lecter, the Plum Island Animal Disease Center has been the primary site for research into biological threats to the nation’s food supply for more than 50 years.

Since 2003, the Department of Homeland Security has used the island as a secure location to investigate bioterrorism. To replace this aging facility and meet rigorous demands for defense of American agriculture and food, a new site called the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility will be located in Manhattan, Kansas.

Construction on the 500,000-square-foot complex is expected to begin this year, with an estimated operational date of 2018. Approximately 50,000 square feet of the new site will be devoted to laboratories designated biosafety level four, the highest level of protective containment.

A goal? To keep the nation’s food, and the people who eat it, safe.