Goats and sheep in many countries are increasingly threatened by peste des petits ruminants (PPR), also called sheep and goat plague. This highly contagious viral disease causes losses of between $1.5 and 2 billion every year. PPR has spread to around 70 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, to regions where hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people live.
Poor farmers and their families rely on small ruminants for food such as meat, milk and other products to generate daily income. Sheep and goats also are an investment and a unique asset for poor families using them in times of crises like natural disasters. Women’s livelihoods are particularly threatened, since women make up the majority of those caring for and raising small ruminants.
But PPR can be defeated, as proven by the example of rinderpest, which in 2011 became the first animal disease to be eradicated by humankind.
The eradication of PPR will have a major positive impact, not only on the livelihoods of poor farmers, but also on the post‐2015 Development Goals and the UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge. It will also highlight the role played by the veterinary profession in poverty alleviation and food security.
Conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast: 31 March-2 April
From 31 March to 2 April 2015 representatives from around 70 countries – including Ministers and OIE national Delegates, the heads of FAO and OIE (Dr José Graziano da Silva and Dr Bernard Vallat), donor agencies, the scientific community, the private sector and civil society – will meet in Abidjan, Ivory Coast to discuss and endorse the global control and eradication strategy and launch the global PPR control and eradication campaign, aiming to eliminate the virus by 2030.
The conference will provide an update on the latest scientific developments related to PPR and will highlight experiences from previous control programs that have a positive socio-economic impact for poor farmers around the world. A High-level Meeting on 2 April 2015 will give participants the opportunity to state their support for the PPR campaign and improvement of small ruminant health and veterinary policies and activities worldwide.
The conference is jointly organized by FAO and OIE together with the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
For information on how to accredit, visit: http://www.oie.int/eng/PPR2015/
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)