1. Regulatory framework and importance of disease

Animal brucellosis is a disease deemed legally contagious in Morocco by virtue of dahir Law No. 1-75-292 of 19 September 1977, which is reportable and gives rise to the compulsory application of veterinary health measures.

It is a matter of ongoing concern for the national veterinary services because of its dual impact:

  • Economic: in view of the losses they cause to animal production (abortions, sterility, decrease in animal production, etc.);
  • Hygienic: due to their transmissibility to humans (major zoonoses).
  1. Health situation at national level

The epidemiological investigations carried out in Morocco, particularly those of 1996 and 2010, as well as the assessment of the official declarations of the disease during the last 10 years, Showed that this disease is enzootic in different parts of the country with varying prevalences depending on farm categories, herd size and breeds.

For the survey conducted in 2010, the overall results showed average serological prevalences of 4.9% and 2.1% respectively at the farm level and in cattle (using the EAT technique).

  1. Management program

Considering the importance of this disease, its control has been one of the priorities of the public authorities for several years in order to control it and reduce its incidence on farms.

Thus, the regulations in force (Ministerial Decree of 5.11.2001) defined the main axes of the programme for the control and control of this disease as follows:

  • Screening of farms using prescribed methods (namely serological diagnosis by E.A.T and/or FC, ring test on mixing milk, bacteriological diagnosis);
  • Marking and slaughter of bovine animals known to have brucellosis;
  •  disinfection of infected holdings in accordance with the procedures laid down;
  • Compensation to affected producers;
  • vaccination of cattle (calves and adult females), when this measure is decided by ONSSA;
  • Regular detection of the disease in other animals until the farm is cleaned up;
  • Establishment and compliance with biosecurity rules at the farm level (rotoluves at the farm entrance, footbaths at the building level, staff hygiene, restriction of visits, precautions for the purchase of new animals, etc.).

By way of example and within the framework of a partnership agreement signed between ONSSA and the agricultural cooperative of Souss Massa, with the active participation of authorised veterinary health officers, the program for the control of bovine brucellosis in the cattle farms belonging to this cooperative has made possible, thanks to a rigorous application of the program during the period 2007-2011 (regular and continuous testing, slaughter and compensation of infected cattle, vaccination of adult calves and females, application of biosecurity measures, awareness raising of breeders, etc.) and the commitment of all concerned, control of the disease and reduction of prevalence to a negligible rate.

Moreover, and considering the need to fight against this contagious disease and like bovine tuberculosis, ONSSA has concluded partnership agreements with professionals (associations, cooperatives, etc.) to ensure a progressive and continuous control of bovine brucellosis and to reach the end of the reorganization of the farms and the achievement of disease-free status at the level of the farms.