Beating plague: Rinderpest is the second disease to be eradicated from the earth

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ILRI veterinary epidemiologist Jeff Mariner at OIE meeting

ILRI veterinary epidemiologist Jeff Mariner presenting his research at a meeting of the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) (photo credit: OIE).

A disease that has devastated the planet for millennia has been eradicated. An international campaign has wiped the cattle plague rinderpest off the face of the earth.

‘For centuries, a disease has ravaged the globe—visiting nearly all corners at one time or another. In Europe so great was the threat of this disease that in the early 18th century, the Pope commissioned one of his most trusted physicians to investigate. Giovanni Lancisi’s “De Bovilla Peste”, is his detailed study of the disease, and represents the first concerted effort to control it.

‘Historians believe that in 4th-century-Europe the cattle disease, rinderpest may have contributed to the downfall of the Roman Empire.

‘Since then Rinderpest has killed hundreds of millions of cattle worldwide. Untreated, it kills within days, wiping out whole…

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ILRI, FAO and Kenya veterinary service providers discuss control of peste de petits ruminants

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ILRI-FAO PPR meeting Participants of a joint meeting held by ILRI and FAO to discuss control of Peste de Petits Ruminants (PPR) in Kenya (Photo credit: ILRI/Samuel Mungai).

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), also known as ‘goat plague’, is a highly contagious viral disease of sheep and goats. The disease causes heavy losses especially in goats and is one of the most damaging livestock diseases in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Earlier this year, a global strategy towards eradicating PPR by 2030 was formulated under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) at a conference in Côte d’Ivoire. The strategy focuses on the eradication of PPR, strengthening of veterinary services across affected countries, and the creation of more cost effective opportunities to control other priority livestock diseases.

The strategy proposes a consistent approach at national level towards PPR eradication which is based on…

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Tropical animal diseases and veterinary public health: ILRI at first AITVM/STVM joint conference

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ILRI participants ILRI participants in the joint meeting

From 4-8 September 2016 more than 250 researchers from 55 different countries met in Berlin, Germany, in the historic buildings of the Humboldt University for the first joint conference of the Association of Institutions for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (AITVM) and the Society of Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM).

AITVM is a foundation of 24 veterinary faculties and livestock institutes based in Africa, Asia and Europa with the mandate to improve human health and quality of life through increased and safe food production in tropical regions through enhancement of research, training and education in veterinary medicine and livestock production within the framework of sustainable development.

STVM is a non-profit organization whose purpose is the advancement of tropical veterinary medicine, hygiene and related disciplines. It is comprised of scientists, veterinarians and students from more than 40 countries with common interests in tropical veterinary medicine.

During the…

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Dairy goes green: New tool will enable smallholders to swap GHG emission reductions for carbon credits

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Dairy cow in Embu, Kenya

Dairy cow in Embu, Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

By unlocking carbon credit markets,
first-of-its-kind methodology looks
to boost financing for smallholder farms,
green the livestock sector

The new dairy methodology
is a key to allowing smallholder dairy operations
to receive internationally accepted carbon credits
in exchange for emission reductions.

‘The dairy sector will soon be able to participate in international carbon credit markets thanks to a new methodology that lets farmers and project designers reliably document how they are reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions—a step that will open up new sources of finance for the livestock industry and help promote investment in smallholder operations.

‘FAO’s new Smallholder dairy methodology tackles two major challenges facing agriculture today: the need to make agriculture more productive by increasing yields, while at the same time cutting agriculture’s carbon footprint. By opening up new sources of finance, the methodology addresses the critical question of how…

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One Health Story

Brucellosis in cattle & farm workers – a story from the field

Brucellosis is not something they teach you about in school.  Nope, I had to go to vet school to hear about Brucellosis.  To be honest, it was not a particularly inspiring disease to have to cram before the Large Animals exam. It wasn’t like cows were blowing up and rolling over about to explode or oozing blood all over the place or running at you madly, water starved and stark raving nutters.

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ILRI remarks to UN Committee on Food Security commending newly agreed livestock recommendations

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macmillansusan_atcfs43_daguerreotypeThe following statement and question were delivered by Susan MacMillan on behalf of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) at the 43rd session of the Committee on World Food Security, held at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in Rome, 17–21 Oct 2016.

Plenary session on 17 Oct 2016 entitled: ‘The Policy Convergence: Sustainable Agricultural Development for Food Security and Nutrition, Including the Role of Livestock (Discussion)’.

I’m honoured to speak today on behalf of the Africa-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

ILRI welcomes these Committee on Food Security (CFS43) negotiations and supports the remarks made today by Kenya, Switzerland and many others.

My colleague Delia Grace was honoured to be a member of the High-Level Panel of Experts that produced the livestock report that has just been finalized; other ILRI researchers were grateful for the opportunity to make other…

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Call for abstracts: International conference on livestock value chain finance and access to credit

ILRI livelihoods, gender and impact


In February 2017, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE) and the Micro Finance Unit, Swaziland (MFU) are organizing an international conference on livestock value chain finance and access to credit. The Conference’s Scientific Committee invites authors to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations.

Get full information on the event and how to submit an abstract

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