IAH scientists contributed to a special meeting at the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome (13-15th October), culminating in an announcement by the FAO's Director General that they had ended field operations on rinderpest. "As of mid 2010, FAO is confident that the rinderpest virus has been eliminated from Europe, Asia, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, and Africa," reports the FAO. Since no other parts of the world were affected by rinderpest, this means that rinderpest has been eradicated.
The Institute for Animal Health has announced that due to ill health, Professor Martin Shirley who had announced his retirement from 30 June 2011, will now retire on 31 October 2010. Professor David Paton will take over as Acting Director, with effect from 1 November 2010.
The Pirbright Institute, in partnership with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), has been awarded £90,000 by Defra to analyse the threat posed to UK livestock and horses from insect- and tick-borne viruses, and the UK's capability to respond to these threats.