It is considered the most dangerous island in Germany: Riems has been researching animal diseases that can also threaten humans for more than 100 years. The Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) high-security laboratory is located on the island, which lies in a foothill of the Baltic Sea, the Greifswalder Bodden, between Rügen and the mainland.
Researchers only enter high-security areas with overpressure suits
An employee of the Friedrich Löffler Institute checks the keeping of a calf in the research center of security level L4 on the island of Riems.
Nowhere in Europe are there similar laboratories and stables with the highest biosecurity level 4, in which large animals can be used to research pathogens that are highly dangerous for animals and humans.
The “Schweriner Volks Zeitung” (Local Newspaper) writes that comparable animal disease research facilities can only be found in Winnipeg in Canada and Geelong in Australia.
The scientists on Riems are investigating Crimean-Congo fever, Ebola, Sars, bird flu, and swine fever, for example.
“The work of the FLI focuses on the health and well-being of farm animals and the protection of humans from zoonoses. H. infections that can be transmitted between animals and humans, ” says the website of the Federal Institute.
For example, vaccines are also developed in laboratories (!!!)
In 2013, a new research complex was inaugurated on the island, which is connected to the mainland by a dam, which consists of 89 laboratories and 163 housing units.
At that time, the federal government invested around 300 million euros in the construction of the buildings.
The laboratories and research stables for cattle, pigs, or goats are equipped with self-sufficient ventilation and disposal systems. The specially trained researchers and zookeepers can only access the high-security areas with pressurized suits and locks.