IFAH Statement on the eradication of rinderpest

IFAH Statement on the eradication of rinderpest

28/06/2011

Declaration of Global Freedom from rinderpest, 37th FAO Conference

Brussels, 28 June 2011 – The International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH) welcomes the Declaration of Global Freedom from rinderpest, made today by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) at the 37th FAO Conference.

The disease, also known as ‘cattle plague’, has been a severe threat to animal health for millennia devastating herds and leading to poverty and starvation in humans. Through an extensive programme of vaccination which required unprecedented international collaboration, the disease can now be declared totally eradicated, the second in the world to be eradicated after smallpox.

IFAH Executive Director Barbara Freischem said: “This is truly a historic day for veterinary medicine and global health. Conquering a disease like rinderpest would not have been possible without the efforts of researchers who developed and improved the vaccine, or the authorities who joined forces to create an internationally recognised approach to combatting the disease. We welcome this milestone as an endorsement of IFAH’s key message: Healthy Animals, Healthier World.”