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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, a total of 76 countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent 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 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.

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