Lessons learned from the eradication of rinderpest for controlling other transboundary animal

Lessons learned from
the eradication of rinderpest
for controlling
other transboundary
animal diseases

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2012


A world without rinderpest has been a long-awaited goal since the seminal work by G. Lancisi in early XVIII century. Early reports of simple hygienic measures, such as quarantine and slaughter, stopping the transmission of infection and eradicating the disease at the local level showed that global eradication should be possible. More difficult to achieve, however, were control and eradication where cattle populations were large and mobile and their owners averse to quarantine and slaughter. To combat rinderpest in these populations, vaccines were developed and immediately seen to offer another weapon in the drive towards eradication. For global eradication, this meant coordination across those regions of the world where the virus was endemic: Eurasia and Africa. The year targeted for achieving eradication was 2010. The global coordination provided by the FAO Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP) orchestrated the efforts and ideas of regional organizations, national veterinary services and individuals alike, assisting them in identifying areas of high disease risk or uncertainty, and focusing improved vaccine delivery and disease surveillance efforts on these often inaccessible areas.

Considering the impact of rinderpest eradication on food security in many countries, and the current rinderpest epidemiological situation, in line with the GREP deadline of 2010, the Director-General of FAO reviewed the situation on the occasion of World Food Day on 15 October 2010. His statement announced the “end of FAO’s rinderpest field operations”, thereby declaring that FAO considered rinderpest to be eradicated from livestock and wildlife (while recognizing the ongoing formal process of evidence-based review by a Joint FAO/OIE Committee, leading to simultaneous declarations of global freedom from rinderpest by both organizations in mid-2011).

As one of the final acts of coordination against rinderpest, the GREP Secretariat organized the GREP Symposium (13 to 14 October 2010). The following proceedings bring together papers and discussions from the organizations and people who brought about this “greatest achievement ever”, their reviews of what went well and of what did not, and their views on the way forward.

Table of Contents




Introduction and objectives of the Symposium


Addresses and messages of welcome and congratulations


Summary report of the meetings


Global experience


Regional experience


National experience


Individual experiences


The post-eradication roadmap


Peste des petits ruminants




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