FAONews and Highlights

Food and Agriculture Organization 
of the United Nations

International campaigns to eradicate cattle plague

Mass vaccination combined with coordinated surveillance and control efforts could eliminate rinderpest by the year 2010.

Archive of News and Highlights

Since the African epidemic in the early 1980s, FAO has worked with other international organizations to strengthen rinderpest control and eradication efforts at the national, regional and international level.

The Pan-African Rinderpest Campaign, launched following the 1982-84 outbreak, united 34 countries in a monitoring and mass vaccination campaign. The effort was undertaken in coordination with the Organization of African Unity through its Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources. A UNDP-funded project helped expand the laboratory facilities of the two Pan-African Veterinary Vaccine Centres in Senegal and Ethiopia.

Similar efforts have achieved progress in South Asia where the all-India campaign has declared the greatest part of the country totally free of the disease. Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh have been free of rinderpest for several years. Pakistan, however, remains a major risk. The Global Rinderpest Eradication Campaign and FAO together with the European Union, which is the main donor, are currently concentrating their effort on containing outbreaks of the disease in South Asia through the regional eradication campaigh (SAREC).

In June 1994, the FAO Council approved Director-General Jacques Diouf's proposal to establish a priority programme to coordinate the battle against pests and diseases that threaten crops, livestock and food security. The new Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES) set rinderpest eradication as one of its two top priorities, along with locust control.

FAO assumed responsibility for technical leadership and coordination of the Global Rinderpest Eradication Campaign (GREP). The campaign has set a goal of completely eliminating rinderpest by the year 2010 by mobilizing mass vaccination, regional production and use of high-quality vaccines, improvements in national veterinary and laboratory services, enhancement of diagnostic and surveillance capabilities and development of contingency plans to contain outbreaks.

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