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Morocco and FAO battle PPR

FAO has sent a rapid response team to Morocco in an attempt to contain outbreaks of PPR (pestes des petits ruminants) in 29 provinces of the country. Morocco, which has over 17 million sheep and some five million goats, has reported more than 130 outbreaks so far, mostly in sheep. PPR is highly contagious and is usually fatal to sheep and goats, with mortality rates of around 80 per cent.

The disease is likely to have been spread across the country by small wild ruminants and there are fears it could reach neighbouring countries through trade in infected livestock. Control of animal movements in parts of North Africa is notoriously difficult, partly due to the large numbers of nomadic herders in the region. FAO has warned that increased trade in livestock, especially sheep, around the time of the Eid-Al-Ahda celebration in December could accelerate the spread of the disease.

The epidemic follows a similar, but unrelated outbreak recently in northern Kenya.

Date published: November 2008


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