The OIE enters the final stage before official confirmation of global rinderpest eradication

Only 16 countries and some non-independent territories in the world have yet to have their official status recognised by the OIE before rinderpest can be declared eradicated, the first animal disease ever to have been eradicated by human endeavour

Paris, 17 June 2010 – The OIE is taking great strides towards its target to have its Members vote the final official list of countries and territories recognised free from rinderpest: in 2011, the OIE and FAO expect to be able to declare the disease officially eradicated from the world.

“There are just 16 countries left for which the freedom status for rinderpest is still under consideration, Russia being one the new countries officially added to the list approved by the World Assembly of Delegates on 25 May this year”, says Director General of the OIE, Dr Bernard Vallat.

Thanks to the precious collaboration with FAO and with the considerable support of donors such as the European Commission, which for several decades has been investing heavily in support for infected countries, the OIE has so far been able to recognise 176 countries and territories worldwide as free from rinderpest, a ‘first’ in the history of OIE official recognition of countries’ animal health status.

The World Assembly of OIE Delegates, meeting in General Session on 23-28 May 2010, applauded the results achieved by the OIE in its capacity as the world reference organisation for official recognition of countries’ health status in terms of priority animal diseases.

“The criteria for evaluating applications from countries for official recognition are re?examined by the OIE in light of the latest scientific advances in the diseases concerned”, notes Dr Vallat.

Once it has been eradicated, rinderpest virus will be stored in a restricted number of listed national and international laboratories. FAO and the OIE are already working on the preparation, adoption and implementation of recommendations and guidelines on confining the virus for research purposes, while respecting appropriate biosecurity measures. The Delegates of OIE Member Countries passed a resolution to this effect during the recent General Session.

Further details:

Official disease status of OIE Members: STATUTS_EN_FS.pdf

Rinderpest: RINDERPEST-EN.pdf