Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Media advisory - Press conference on "Rinderpest’s final days"

Media advisory - Press conference on "Rinderpest’s final days"

Bangkok, Thailand, 02 Jun 2011 -- The decades-long campaign to eradicate rinderpest, an ancient cattle plague, is fast approaching its goal. This month, rinderpest will become the first animal disease to be eradicated, and only the second disease of any kind, after smallpox in humans.

Rinderpest caused much devastation and decimated populations of cattle, buffalo and various kinds of wildlife for centuries. The historic importance of the global eradication of rinderpest, also known as cattle plague, cannot be overestimated.

But the declaration of global rinderpest eradication on 28 June 2011 comes with great responsibility. There is still much that needs to be put into place over the next 5 to 10 years to ensure that the disease is not coming out of some unpredictable hole.

Ongoing surveillance, continued training of personnel and public awareness are fundamental, and FAO is bringing together the chief veterinary officers from 25 Asian countries in Bangkok from 7 to 10 June for post-eradication strategies, sequestration of remaining virus samples and preparing contingency plans for unexpected outbreaks.

Journalists and news organizations are invited to attend the Opening Ceremony of the FAO Rinderpest Eradication meeting, followed by a press conference.

When?       Tuesday 7 June 2011
09:00-09:30 h  Opening ceremony
                    09:30-10:00 h  Press conference
Where?     Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel
, 2 Charoen Krung Soi 30, Siphya, Bangrak, Bangkok
                 Ballroom 2 and Pompadour room (Press conference), 2nd floor

Who?         Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General
                                                      and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific
                   Chaweewan Viriyapak, Deputy Director General,
                                                     Department of Livestock Development, Thailand


For more information on attendance at the press conference, contact Ms Kanokporn, office telephone +66 (0)2 697 4177 or email