Goat Plague threat to global food security

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Following the British Medical Association goat plague or peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is threatening global food security and poverty alleviation in the developing world.

They call on the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to turn their attention now to ridding the world of the PPR virus, which carries a very high risk of death among infected animals. The call follows the formal announcement last week by the FAO that a related virus, rinderpest, better known as cattle plague, has now been eradicated around the globe.

Now the world must focus on achieving the same for PPR, which is endemic in most of sub Saharan Africa as well as a swathe of countries from Turkey through the Middle East to south Asia.The virus has also recently been reported in North Africa, central Asia and China.

It's important to control the infection because it spreads quickly through goat herds and sheep flocks, decimating their numbers, and taking a terrible financial toll on the farmers and families who depend on these animals for their livelihoods, say the authors. And it has also spread to wildlife species, many of which are endangered or threatened.