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Peste des petits ruminants

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), also known as sheep and goat plague, is a highly contagious animal disease affecting small ruminants. Once introduced, the virus can infect up to 90 percent of an animal heard, and the disease kills anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of infected animals. The PPR virus does not infect humans.

PPR was first described in 1942 in Côte d'Ivoire. Since then the disease has spread to large regions in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Today, more than 70 countries have confirmed PPR within their borders, and many countries are at risk of the disease being introduced. These regions are home to approximately 1.7 billion heads – roughly 80 percent – of the global population of sheep and goats.

In 2015 high-level authorities and Chiefs Veterinary Officers from 70 countries endorsed in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, a global PPR control and eradication strategy. The strategy is in line with the principles of the successful campaign that led to the global elimination of rinderpest.

View the resulting Advocacy documentGlobal Strategy document,  Book of Abstracts and Recommendations


FAO has long supported countries with PPR preparedness and response as part of the Organization’s overall efforts to reduce the impact of transboundary animal diseases.

Preparedness & response

FAO helps countries prepare for PPR emergencies and respond rapidly should they occur through the Organization’s overarching support to good emergency management.

FAO’s global work on animal disease preparedness focuses on:

  • Prevention: keeping the virus from entering a country or a region through a quarantine, border security, cross-border coordination, good biosecurity and other prevention measures
  • Detection: finding and diagnosing the virus quickly and accurately
  • Response: controlling outbreaks when they occur and stopping their spread
  • Recovery: rehabilitating affected communities and verifying freedom of disease

(For more information, see the FAO Good Emergency Management Practice.)

Prevention and control measures are essential for the containment of PPR. These measures may include animal movement control, institution of quarantine on affected or suspect farms, and medical prophylaxis (vaccination around field outbreaks and in high risk areas).

Capacity development

FAO works with both governmental and non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, research institutions and academia to improve capacities in livestock management, from disease preparedness to animal husbandry, sustainable production and animal welfare. Together with its partners, the Organization supports veterinary services and vulnerable livestock farmers to increase their knowledge and skills. Both women and men smallholder farmers then apply these skills to responsibly increase the production of milk, meat and other products, which not only makes nutritious food available, but also boosts family incomes. Veterinary services use their new capacities to improve services, keeping more animals healthy and productive. Policy makers engage with FAO to develop enhanced approaches that promote animal health for better food and nutrition security and livelihoods.

Eradication by 2030

FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are mobilizing the international community around a new global initiative: the fight to eradicate PPR by 2030. FAO’s ultimate goal is to facilitate the eradication PPR and to sustainably improve small ruminant production in order to benefit food and nutrition security and strengthen the livelihood resilience of rural women and men.

Conference and campaign

From 31 March to 2 of April 2015, FAO and OIE convened in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire for the International Conference for the Control and Eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants to address current challenges and solidify strategies for containment and eradication activities.

At the conference, FAO and OIE launched the global campaign to eradicate PPR by 2030. The campaign concentrates on areas in Asia, the Middle East and Africa affected by the disease. The two organizations will lead and coordinate the global efforts of governments, regional organizations, research institutions, funding partners and livestock owners to rid the world of this destructive animal disease.

Key steps since the Abidjan Conference

Establishment of the PPR Secretariat: as recommended by the Abidjan Conference, FAO and OIE have established a Joint PPR Global Secretariat to coordinate the preparation, overall management and implementation of the PPR GCEP. The Secretariat composed of Dr Bouna Diop, Secretary, Dr Felix Njeumi, FAO Coordinator, and Dr Jean-Jacques Soula, OIE Coordinator will work closely with relevant regional organizations, international reference laboratories/centres, technical and research institutions to support the development and implementation of national action plans and community engagement tailored to the local disease situation.

Regional Roadmap Meetings: out of the 9 regions/sub-regions defined according to the distribution of the member countries of the OIE and FAO regions/sub-regions as well as the existence of relevant Regional Economic Communities (RECs), six have already organized their regional roadmaps. These meetings serve to (i) present the GCES and its tools in a detailed manner (ii) carry out a first self-assessment of each country’s situation regarding PPR and the capacity of its Veterinary Services to control the disease; (iii) review of PPR projects and lessons drawn from their implementation, (iv) identify countries’ and regional vision toward PPR eradication, (v) preliminary prioritize other small ruminant diseases that might be controlled and (vi) set-up the Governance structure to oversee the implementation of PPR control activities in the region.

  • Central Africa, Yaoundé, Cameroon August 2015
  • East Africa, Kampala, Uganda – September 2015
  • Middle East, Doha, Qatar- October 2015.
  • Central Asia, Almaty, Kazakhstan-February 2016.
  • SAARC, Nagarkot, Nepal - 11 – 12 April 2016
  • Western Africa: Dakar, Senegal, 9 – 11 May 2016

Remain Roadmap meetings are scheduled to be held before end of 2016 in North Africa, Southern Africa and East Asia.

Launch of the PPR control and eradication programme (GCEP) formulation: FAO and OIE organized an expert meeting in Nagarkot (13 – 14 April 2016) to discuss the detailed outline of the GCEP. The five year programme is expected to be finalized by September this year.

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