In 1865 the rinderpest, or steppe murrain, originating amongst the vast herds of the Russian steppes, had spread westward over Europe, until it was brought to London by foreign cattle.
One memorable feature was associated with 1877 in that this was the last year in which the dreaded cattle plague (rinderpest) made its appearance in England.
When, after the introduction of cattle plague or rinderpest in 1865, the proposal was made to resort to the extreme remedy of slaughter in order to check the ravages of a disease which was pursuing its course with ruinous results, the idea was received with public indignation and denounced as barbarous.
Cattle plague, or rinderpest, has not been recorded in Great Britain since 1877.
Rinderpest in1896-1897swept through South Africa, and probably carried off in Natal from 30 to 40% of the stock of Europeans, while the natives' losses were even heavier.
The government maintains experimental farms and forestry plantations and a veterinary department to cope with lung sickness, rinderpest, East Coast fever and such like diseases.
Rinderpest and other epidemic diseases swept over the country in 1895-1896, and during the war of1899-1902the province was practically denuded of live stock.
Canada is entirely free from rinderpest, pleuropneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease.
The neat cattle, which are of Australian and Indian origin, are raised chiefly for beef, their hides and their horns; about nine-tenths of them were destroyed by the rinderpest and the war at the close of the 19th century.