Summary
In 2011, the 79th General Session of the World Assembly of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the 37th Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Conference adopted a resolution declaring the world free from rinderpest and recommending follow-up measures to preserve the benefits of this new and hard-won situation. Eradication is an achievable objective for any livestock disease, provided that the epidemiology is uncomplicated and the necessary tools, resources and policies are available. Eradication at a national level inevitably reflects national priorities, whereas global eradication requires a level of international initiative and leadership to integrate these tools into a global framework, aimed first at suppressing transmission across all infected areas and concluding with a demonstration that this has been achieved. With a simple transmission chain and the environmental fragility of the virus, rinderpest has always been open to control and even eradication within a zoosanitary approach. However, in the post-1945 drive for more productive agriculture, national and global vaccination programmes became increasingly relevant and important. As rinderpest frequently spread from one region to another through trade-related livestock movements, the key to global eradication was to ensure that such vaccination programmes were carried out in a synchronised manner across all regions where the disease was endemic – an objective to which the European Union, the United States Agency for International Development, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the African Union-Interafrican Bureau of Animal Resources, FAO and OIE fully subscribed. This article provides a review of rinderpest eradication, from the seminal work carried out by Giovanni Lancisi in the early 18th Century to the global declaration in 2011.
 
Keywords
Eradication – Rinderpest.