Livestock farming and pastoralism

Animal Marking in Vaccination Campaigns Against Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in West Africa

Marquage des animaux dans les campagnes de vaccination contre la Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) en Afrique de l’Ouest

Animal marking is often used in vaccination campaigns for small ruminants as part of the global objective of eradicating PPR in West Africa by 2030. It is an integral part of the regional livestock identification and traceability strategy of the ECOWAS Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC), used in mass vaccination campaigns. Animal marking, however, requires good practices to be considered at all levels.

The vaccination and marking twinning enables veterinary services to effectively conduct the fight against PPR through mass vaccination campaigns undertaken by ECOWAS through RAHC and its Member States since 2018 with the financial support of the Swiss Development Cooperation and the World Bank. Marking makes it possible, among other things, to prove vaccination and thus avoid vaccinating several times the same already immunised animal.

Among marking techniques, ear-tagging has been chosen by actors involved in mass vaccination campaigns against PPR in the region. Despite the many advantages of this technique, it worths reminding that some stakeholders are still reluctant to use it. Hence, the need to consider organising awareness-raising sessions for stakeholders, particularly breeders, on the benefits of marking and this, with the involvement of opinion leaders. Good control of the practice by the teams assigned to the task is a key driver for the success of the process of eradicating Peste des Petits Ruminants in West Africa by 2030.

To recall, the global strategy for controlling and eradicating PPR by 2030 was officially adopted in April 2015 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. It describes the rationale for controlling and eradicating PPR and other economically important diseases of small ruminants, the general principles, and the tools to be used. This strategy was then domesticated at continental (African) level and in the ECOWAS region with the same objectives for 2030.

With the support of partners, the ECOWAS Regional Animal Health Center (RAHC) supports national action on animal disease control and livestock development. Its main mission is to contribute to the fight against poverty and food and nutrition insecurity by continuously improving animal production at both national and regional level.