Finally, the world can now stamp out a plague that devastates sheep and goats, rescuing millions of rural families from one of the major risks to their food security and livelihood.
This is as FAO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) have made plans to outline a strategy for the total eradication of Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) by 2030 at a an international conference starting today in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast.
PPR has expanded rapidly in the past 15 years, is now present in around 70 countries across South and East Asia, Africa and the Middle East and if left uncontrolled will likely make inroads into Europe. If flocks are not vaccinated, it can kill as many as 90 percent of the animals it infects.
“If the major achievement of eradicating rinderpest can be replicated for another major transboundary animal disease such as PPR, the positive impact on the livelihoods of farmers and food and nutrition security for all communities, Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations’ Zero Hunger Challenge will be substantial,” said FAO Assistant Director-General for Africa Bukar Tijani at the start of the FAO and OIE International Conference for the Control and Eradication of PPR (31 March-2 April 2015).
“It is of utmost importance for the success of the PPR control and eradication campaign to count on robust and well-resourced veterinary services and vaccines that comply with the international standards of the OIE” said OIE Director General Bernard Vallat.