Healthy herds, healthy humans, vets say

FIGHTING goat plague, or peste des petits ruminants (PPR), in the developing world would deliver major improvements in human health, senior veterinarians say.

The disease kills off goat and sheep across sub-Saharan Africa to Turkey and South Asia, exacting a toll on families who depend on herd animals for a livelihood. 

“PPR control and eradication would be both pro-poor and pro-women and children. It fits many developmental objectives for nutrition, food security and poverty alleviation,” the vets said in a call for urgent global action.

Ridding the world of cattle plague – rinderpest virus – had yielded “benefits that surpass virtually every other developmental program in agriculture”, they added, suggesting this could be repeated with PPR.

Vet Rec 2011;169:16-21