Celebration honours success against cattle disease

Celebration honours success against cattle disease

25/06/2011

Flanked by Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Ministers and other international dignitaries, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf today unveiled a commemorative plaque to celebrate global freedom from rinderpest, or cattle plague, one of history's deadliest animal diseases and a long-time threat to human livelihoods and food security.

The global eradication of rinderpest, achieved under an FAO coordinated programme, makes the virus the first animal disease to be eliminated from its natural setting thanks to human efforts and international cooperation, and only the second disease of any kind to be eradicated, after smallpox in humans.

"Over the years, I have frequently said that the world has the means necessary to eliminate hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty," said Diouf. "The total eradication of rinderpest — a disease that decimated cattle, buffalo and many other animal species, both domestic and wild — is proof of this today."