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back to article Humanity frees cattle, buffalo from cloven-hoofed plague

The Office International des Epizooties (OIE) has announced that rinderpest, aka cattle plague, has been wiped out. Rinderpest is believed to have originated in Asia, and gradually spread through movements of livestock. Over the centuries, the viral infection* provoked major human famines as it devasted cattle. Reuters notes …

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Silver badge

Officially eradicated, yes.

But I have to wonder how many countries are holding stocks of the virus as 'defence against bioweapons', in much the same way that the US refuses to destroy its stocks of smallpox. it occurs to me that a virus that causes 100% mortality in cattle would be considerd a useful weapon by the less scrupulous of governments (i.e. all of them).

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Mushroom

Ditto

I was thinking just the same thing; although with the (alleged) simplicity of synthesizing viruses based on their mapped DNA I don't see holding onto stocks of it as a problem. As long as it is difficult to either find the DNA sequence or get access to the live virus then I don't see it being a problem. No one can say that some nutter somewhere didn't hold on to a whole bunch of nasty diseases with the idea of one day making a dooms day weapon or selling them to the highest bidder (whether they are labeled terrorist of recognised government makes little odds).

>> Doomsday weapons for all!

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IT Angle

So my virus scanner

no longer needs to scan for this?

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of course it's IT related...

... have you seen the average female DBA?

Some people say they don't exist, that's just because the human brain is quite adept at shielding us from true horrors. Who do you think does all the real DBA work while the male DBAs throw their regular strops about being unappreciated?

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Officially deceased but...

Various lunatic governments are still keeping hold of stocks. Joy.

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Bronze badge

Two vials will be kept, just in case

One by the leader of the Buffalo, the other by the King of moo.

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Re: Gov stocks

Not really a big issue. If either the USA or Russia were stupid enough to use weaponised small pox we'd know pretty easily, and their enemy would have sufficient time to retaliate.

Nice to see more work on eradicating diseases tho. Just a pity most can't be eradicated as they're either bacterial (and needed to sustain life in larger organisms like ppl) or viral and have ridiculous mutation rates. Oh, and only affect poor ppl, so who cares right? ^^

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Thumb Up

mad cow & Hoof-mouth

Get busy on it now...i need more high-value protein.

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Personally

I'm very glad about this.

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Coat

The IT angle

Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme ---> GREP

But only for eunuchs...

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Happy

It will live on in name

One of my pseudonyms was Dirk van Rinderpest.

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