A joint publication of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a widespread, virulent and devastating disease of small ruminants. It has a significant economic impact on food security and livelihoods. PPR is therefore considered one of the most damaging of all animal diseases in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and it is also one of the priority diseases indicated in the FAO-OIE Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs1) Global level 5–Year Action Plan2 (2013-2017) (17).
In October 2012 the GF-TADs Global Steering Committee requested that the activities of the Global GF-TADs Working Group be extended to include PPR with the task of developing a PPR Global Control Strategy and organising an international conference to launch a PPR eradication programme. This recommendation was further supported by a Resolution of the World Assembly of Delegates of the OIE, adopted in May 2014, and by the recommendations of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) and the Council of FAO, in October and December 2014, respectively.
In 2013, the OIE and FAO jointly decided to embark upon the control of PPR on a global scale and develop a ‘PPR Global Control and Eradication Strategy’, (hereinafter named ‘Global Strategy’) with a strong willingness to address the animal health problems in a systematic way through approaching horizontal as well as more disease-specific (vertical) issues.
The task of eradicating PPR can benefit from a series of favourable elements, including the experience gained from eradicating rinderpest (RP), several favourable technical aspects (such as a battery of diagnostic and surveillance tools, effective and inexpensive vaccines that covers all known strains/lineages of the virus, no long-term virus carriers and no significant role of wildlife), the new OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code chapter adopted in 2014 (with PPR becoming a disease with an official status (official recognition of PPR free status) and with the possibility of OIE endorsement of national control programmes), the direct economic impact for the owner of the animals as well as a growing political commitment from various decision-makers at national, regional and global levels to invest in a control and eradication strategy for PPR.
The underlying objective of this strategy is that through the control and eradication of PPR and other major diseases and through reinforced Veterinary Services (VS) and global animal health systems, the improvement of animal health will reduce the impact of these diseases and in so doing strengthen the contribution made by the small ruminant sector to global food security and economic growth while at the same time improving the livelihoods of smallholders and poor farmers.