The FAO Conference, the highest body of the UN agency, adopted a resolution declaring global freedom from the devastating disease. Today's declaration marked the final step in a decade-long global campaign implemented by FAO, in close coordination with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and other partners to eradicate rinderpest. This rinderpest eradication represents a collaborative effort in which the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP) played a key role. The last rinderpest outbreak was registered in wild buffalo in Kenya in 2001, and the last vaccination took place in 2006. Listen to the statements of the official declaration ceremony.
FAO and its partners gathered today to celebrate an extraordinary success, namely the eradication of rinderpest, the first animal disease to be eradicated by mankind. The celebration of this achievement was held at FAO headquarters and was marked by an official declaration ceremony of the global eradication of rinderpest. An eminent Cameroonian vet, now retired in Bamenda, Northwest Cameroon shares his past experience and legacy to younger generations.
At the organization's 79th annual General Session in Paris, The national Delegates of Members of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) officially declared today, that with the support of FAO rinderpest is now eradicated from the surface of the earth. An "OIE Rinderpest Pathway" for countries to be officially recognized as free from the disease was implemented in parallel with the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP) managed by FAO in collaboration with the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). International cooperation has been essential to move towards global eradication in poorest countries. The following are testimonials to remember a historic moment for Humanity:
A massive, bronze statue of a wild buffalo now stands near the entrance to Meru National Park, the site of the world's last-confirmed case of rinderpest, or cattle plague. The international campaign to rid the world of rinderpest has been successful, in part, due to Kenya's pivotal role and regional position. A handful of remaining countries are expected to be formally recognized as rinderpest-free by May 2011, from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). A joint FAO-OIE Global Declaration is expected immediately thereafter, and the eradication of rinderpest will be highlighted during FAO's Conference in June 2011, with the unveiling of another monument.
In close association with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), GREP, a key element within the Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES), was conceived as an international coordination mechanism to promote the global eradication of rinderpest and verification of rinderpest freedom, while providing technical guidance to achieve these goals. From the outset, GREP was a time-bound programme, due to declare rinderpest freedom by 2011. Further certification and verification are still needed before key partners declare the world rinderpest-free.
The following are radio interviews collected during a workshop on “Rinderpest virus and vaccines sequestration”, in Rome:
With the world on the edge of finally stamping out one of the most devastating livestock diseases known to man- rinderpest, or cattle plague, - just how close are we?
With attention turned to more pressing everyday problems, it's difficult for today's generation of livestock framers, traders and vets to focus on a hazard they see as belonging to the past. But that's the danger, as Peter Roeder, Secretary of the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme, explains to Sarah Reynolds. She kicks off the interview by asking him about the latest developments in what is known as the OIE Pathway to final eradication.