Rinderpest officially wiped off the face of the earth, veterinary officials report

Eradication of cattle disease is a first for animal health
May 28, 2011
By staff
Paris — Veterinarians with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) report that the cattle disease rinderpest has been completely eradicated from live animal populations. It's the first time in history an animal disease has been completely eradicated.

In fact, the national Delegates of OIE Members unanimously adopted Resolution 18/2011 recognizing that all 198 countries and territories with rinderpest-susceptible animals are free of the disease.

Dr. Bernard Vallat, director general of OIE, says, "Today we witness a historical event as rinderpest is the first animal disease ever to be eradicated by humankind."

Dr. William Taylor, chairman of the joint OIE/FAO Committee for Global Rinderpest Eradication, adds, "In this historical fight against one of the most dreaded disease by farmers around the world, the joint action of the veterinary scientific community, international and regional organizations, governments and farmers has been absolutely crucial."

The post-eradication phase begins next. While rinderpest virus has been wiped out of live animals, it is still present in laboratories for the production of vaccines in case of a re-emergence. OIE and FAO are working on recommendations on confining the virus for research or vaccine production in compliance with international biosecurity measures.