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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO Egypt leads Rinderpest Post-Eradication Awareness Program

Workshop Participants

Cairo, Egypt, July 6, 2017 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Egypt, in collaboration with the General Organization for Veterinary Services (GOVS) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, organized a stakeholders workshop today to discuss and endorse the draft communication strategy for the Rinderpest Post-Eradication Awareness Program in Egypt.

Rinderpest is one of the most dangerous transboundary animal diseases that caused the death of millions of livestock and wildlife in Asia, Europe, and Africa. Although the disease was declared globally eradicated in 2011, it is still stored in several laboratories posing a reintroduction risk of the virus into cattle grazing grounds, possibly leading to dissemination into wider areas. Inefficient containment procedures and weak early detection mechanisms are due to lack of awareness about the rinderpest virus among livestock holders, veterinarians, policymakers and the community

The workshop gathered all stakeholders including FAO staff, GOVS officials, livestock association representatives, and farmers to support their ownership in the implementation of the program and to utilize their insights to modify and finalize the program’s activity plan.

"Although rinderpest has been eradicated, attention is still being given to ensure that its eradication is sustainable for future generations and to develop an awareness strategy to prevent the recurrence of the disease, especially that FAO, in collaboration with many international and regional organizations, has made great efforts that led to the complete eradication of the disease and is still working to keep the world free from rinderpest,” said Hussein Gadain, FAO Representative in Egypt, during his opening speech.

Ibrahim Mahrous, GOVS Chairman, added, "Greater cooperation with cattle breeders requires designing an awareness raising program that includes a range of mass, group, and individual outreach activities to ensure the conservation and protection of livestock. This workshop is an opportunity to discuss the proposed strategy for post-rinderpest awareness to identify the package of awareness activities and communication tools appropriate for breeders.”

A working group was created from amongst workshop participants, including cattle breeders from the Nile Delta, Upper Egypt and the new agricultural lands, farmers, and FAO and GOVS representatives, which will be responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the Rinderpest Post-Eradication Awareness Program.

With the launching in 1994 of the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP), FAO spearheaded an initiative to consolidate gains in rinderpest control and to move towards disease eradication. GREP is in collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other institutional partners, governments, regional organizations such as the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), and communities worldwide. 


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