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OIE concerned about the situation caused by Rift Valley Fever in Africa

Paris, 5th November 2007 -The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) monitors the situation caused by Rift Valley Fever outbreaks which occurred over the last few weeks in Africa, particularly in Sudan.

The OIE recalls the importance of the use of vaccination of susceptible animals as a control measure. This recommendation of the OIE has been recently re-endorsed by OIE national Delegates of Africa and Middle East during the workshop on RVF held in Cairo ( Egypt ), on 13- 15 June 2007.

Animal vaccination and, when possible, vector control need to be applied well in advance of expected risk periods for vector activity and occurrence of the disease.
Outbreaks of RVF have a significant impact on the trade of ruminants especially from the Horn of Africa to the Middle East with a consequent significant loss of income for livestock owners in the affected areas and countries. By recommending the correct implementation of standards and guidelines, the OIE stands for safe trade and against unjustified sanitary barriers.

Should countries at risk make the request, the OIE would be in favour of an appropriate animal vaccination campaign, to be carried out in areas at risk, with the support of the international community. This should include measures to reduce the risk of mechanical spread through inoculation of infective animals and should account for the general epidemiological situation.