Declarations of Freedom
Twenty-four countries are recognized as free from rinderpest – Algeria, Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Tunisia, Madagascar, Malawi, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Egypt, Mauritania, Togo, Guinea, Eritrea, Cote d’Ivoire and Chad.
All these countries today are carrying out serological surveillance to monitor and confirm their freedom from rinderpest. The testing kits unleash them from ongoing, unnecessary and costly vaccination programmes, which run to millions of dollars.
To be declared "rinderpest free" is no easy course. It starts with mass vaccination. Once 85% of a country’s cattle are shown to be immune, rigorous screening and monitoring is conducted for at least five years to identify any remaining pockets of infection. This "pathway" was established by the world’s body for animal health, the Organization International of Epizootics (OIE) based in France, with technical support from the IAEA and other partners.
The result is that today African countries have in place a recognized and standardized system for testing cattle for rinderpest. They can confirm to the international community their victory over the disease.