Scientists destroyed world’s largest stock of cattle plague virus

Scientists destroyed world’s largest stock of cattle plague virus
An image of the rinderpest virus. Photo: PIRBRIGHT INSTITUTE via BBC

Scientists have completely eradicated laboratory stocks of rinderpest in the UK. UK’s rinderpest stock is the largest in the world.

Rinderpest stocks in the UK account for most of the world’s laboratory samples of the virus. These samples are held in The Pirbright Institute located in Surrey, South East England.

Rinderpest is the virus responsible for “cattle plague” that once caused disastrous cattle losses. Back in the 1980s, rinderpest saw the demise of cattle throughout Africa. Millions of people starved and died as a result. Cattle plague and smallpox are the only diseases ever to have been eliminated from the earth.

One of the scientists from The Pirbright Institute, Dr. Carrie Batten, calls the destruction of the disease as”the end of an era”. This is according to exclusive reports from the BBC.

“Rinderpest was devastating and by removing the stocks that are held globally you are essentially reducing the risk dramatically,” Dr. Battene said.

An honorary comrade at the institute, Dr. Michael Baron says of the event:

“The success we have achieved with rinderpest has been one of the main drivers for people saying we can do this with other animal diseases and other human diseases such as polio, mumps, and measles. These diseases are eradicable and this should be done.”

Lab samples of the deadly virus have not been destroyed until now in the case of the disease’s re-emergence. In which case, vaccinations have to be created. Now, this is no longer an issue according to the digital record of the virus’ genetic code.