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Eradicating rinderpest

Poster for the UN-FAO eradication campaign. UN-FAO

One of the most devastating animal diseases ever encountered has been officially consigned to the history books. On June 28 2011 the 192 Member countries of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) adopted a Resolution declaring global freedom from rinderpest.

Data breakout

1994 Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme launched
US $289 billion Extra production value in India due to rinderpest control (1965-1998)
US $47 billion Benefit to Africa during the same period

Described as the most dreaded of all animal diseases, rinderpest in its most virulent form could result in more than 80% mortality of cattle, buffalo, and other cloven-hoofed wildlife species.

The Pirbright Institute, formerly the Institute for Animal Health, which receives strategic funding from BBSRC, has played a significant role in eradicating the disease as the World Reference Laboratory for rinderpest.

New vaccination technologies and strategies have formed the heart of the final eradication campaign, reducing famine and poverty in rural communities and increasing agricultural production throughout the developing world.