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Fifteen Year Deadline Set for Sheep and Goat Plague

26 March 2015

COTE D'IVOIRE - International organisations are gearing up to eliminate sheep and goat plague, also known as peste des petits ruminants (PPR), by 2030.

Goats and sheep in many countries are increasingly threatened by PPR, which has spread to around 70 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people live.

This is according to a World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) spokesperson, who put the costs of the disease at between $1.5 and 2 billion every year.

This is damaging to subsistence farmers and their families relying on small ruminants for food such as meat, milk and other products to generate daily income.

The spokesperson said: "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."

"The eradication of PPR would 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."

Representatives from around 70 countries, including delegates from the FAO and OIE, donor agencies, the scientific community, the private sector and civil society will meet in Côte d’Ivoire at the end of March to launch the global PPR control and eradication campaign.

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.

TheSheepSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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