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Deadly cattle disease eradicated, UN declares

June 28, 2011
"the world has the means to eliminate hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty."
- acques Diouf, the director general of the FAO

A cattle disease that has caused hardship and hunger for millennia has been eliminated from the world, the United Nations formally announced Tuesday.

The vanquishing of rinderpest, a deadly cattle disease, represents only the second time a plague has been globally eradicated through human efforts. The first to be eliminated was smallpox.

A rinderpest plague in Africa in the 19th century killed 80 to 90 per cent of the cattle in sub-Saharan Africa and caused widespread hunger. The UN says one-third of the people of Ethiopia died in the subsequent famine.

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