Plum Island: Nobody is allowed to enter this small island off New York

There is a small island in front of the mega-metropolis New York: Plum Island. But nobody is allowed to enter this place. If mammals stray to Plum Island, they will be shot. What’s behind it.

Plum Island is the name of the island and is located in the town of Southold in Suffolk County (New York) off Long Island. The small town is only seven square kilometers – entry is strictly forbidden or only allowed to people who have permission. Only trained personnel in protective clothing are allowed to go to the laboratories on the island. If mammals stray to Plum Island, they will be shot.

Plum Island is home to the High Security Animal Epidemic and Disease Research Center

The name of the island comes from sea plums, which grow on the coast. The Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) was founded in 1954 – it is a high-security center for research into animal epidemics and diseases. Researchers there are primarily investigating foot-and-mouth disease. The virus mainly affects cattle and pigs – if the infection spreads, it is difficult to stop and the cattle can no longer be eaten.

Insel starred in “The Silence of the Lambs”

Research on live viruses of this disease is prohibited by mainland law, so Plum Island is the only laboratory dedicated to this infection. And rinderpest is also being researched at the PIADC. There is also speculation about military research on the island – but this has been denied by the government.

The island has its own fire brigade, power plant and sewage disposal. Plum Island is also considered a bird paradise – facilities protect some species. By the way: The island plays a role in the blockbuster “The Silence of the Lambs”. Because Plum Island is suggested as a possible vacation spot for Hannibal Lecter. In the strip, however, he was not at all enthusiastic about it.

Jean Harris

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