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Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) is one of the great plagues that continue to devastate the cattle herds on which so many people are dependent in Africa. In recent years, the disease has emerged from areas where it has been persisting in endemic form to re-invade other areas from which it had previously been eradicated. In addition to these newly infected areas, the endemic areas are experiencing an upsurge in the incidence of CBPP.

Recent dramatic events confirm that early recognition of the disease after its introduction or re-introduction to a country, or previously free zone of an infected country, is essential if control and elimination are to be achieved rapidly. Only if the introduction is detected rapidly can stamping out by slaughter of infected herds -undoubtedly the most cost-effective option in the long term - be considered an affordable strategy option for many countries. Because of the nature of the disease, any delay can result in widespread dispersal of infection, complicating and greatly increasing the costs of any control measures adopted. Vigilance is therefore required, whether at the national or district level, to ensure that the disease does not escape detection.

This manual presents the most important features of CBPP to enable the disease to be recognized, both by clinical and post-mortem examinations. It is intended for use by all veterinary and paraveterinary staff in the front line of defence against the disease, and also to assist in informing farmers of the risk and key features of CBPP so as to enable early recognition of the disease.

CBPP is a serious threat to livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa and some Asian countries. It is a serious obstacle to livestock development. Once introduced to a new area, initial losses can be very high and its eradication is difficult, requiring major expenditure for control.

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