RINDERPEST, a fatal cattle disease, was eradicated worldwide in 2011 after hundreds of years of repeated devastating pandemics. It is worth noting that the disease and smallpox in humans are the only diseases that have been successfully eliminated worldwide.
An important measure for the prevention of cattle is the search and safe storage or destruction of all materials containing cattle plague viruses (RVCM) found anywhere in the world.
In this regard, Nigerian veterinary services evacuated all RVKM at the National Institute for Veterinary Research (NVRI), Vom, to the Pan-African Center for Veterinary Vaccine (PANVAC), based in Debre Tseit, Ethiopia, for destruction.
In addition, an RVCM search was conducted at all 11 veterinary faculties in Nigerian universities to find out the actual state of the plague containing materials in these faculties.
An exercise conducted by the Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services in November 2017 showed that some RVCMs were still domiciled at the University of Maiduguri.
To avoid the leak of this dangerous cattle virus in a livestock population that could lead to another devastating pandemic, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with PANVAC, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO)), carried out the safe destruction of the RVCM in the staff of NVRI, Vom, Plateau.
In his remarks on the destruction of RVKM, Director of the Federal Department of Veterinary and Pasture Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olaniran Alabi, said that this event marks the end of the cattle plague disease in the country.
“The event held today marks the successful completion of the process that began on November 14, 2017. Nigeria has fulfilled all the necessary conditions, was declared free from the plague of cattle on May 27, 2010 by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the disease was declared globally eradicated in May 2011.
He said that after some searching, it turned out that some RVCMs had been discovered at the University of Maiduguri. With this discovery, the Department contacted relevant organizations and agencies, such as the OIE, FAO and PANVAC, in order to develop methods for the best way to safely handle materials.
“Various options were considered leading to a possible mutual decision to destroy the found RVCMs in the country in the NVRI. That's why we are here today, ”he added.
In addition, the Commissioner, Department of Agriculture and Agriculture, Commission of the African Union, Tumusiime Peace, congratulated Nigeria for the task of quickly responding to any events in the cattle plague in the country.
“It is gratifying to note that, despite the global eradication of cattle plague, the disease that caused havoc among the livestock communities has been reached, Africa and all interested parties are still more than ever committed to ensuring a world free of the plague of cattle.
Today, the African Union remains committed to preserving Africa and a world free from the plague of cattle, by supporting countries in emergency situations and ensuring that any potential threat is eliminated.
“In addition, as part of the commitment of the AU Commission, the chairman of the AUC opened in January this year a continental vaccination bank against rinderpest in PANVAC. The Bank currently has a seed fund and 1.5 million doses of cattle plague vaccines to be used in any unlikely event of a cattle plague worldwide.
“In line with this, PANVAC will issue a tender for the production of 10 million doses of an emergency at the request of the AU member states in the next few weeks,” Mir said.