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WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is likely to move its research on one of the most contagious animal diseases from an isolated island laboratory to the U.S. mainland near herds of livestock, raising concerns about a catastrophic outbreak.
A simulated outbreak of the disease — part of an earlier U.S. government exercise called "Crimson Sky" — ended with fictional riots in the streets after the simulation's National Guardsmen were ordered to kill tens of millions of farm animals, so many that troops ran out of bullets. In the exercise, the government said it would have been forced to dig a ditch in Kansas 25 miles long to bury carcasses. In the simulation, protests broke out in some cities amid food shortages.