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Scholarship on the Tanzanian Rinderpest epizootic of the 1890s has assumed that German colonizers understood from the start that they were confronting the same disease that had afflicted Eurasia for centuries. Outward indicators of the epizootic, known locally as sadoka, especially wildlife destruction, were unknown in Europe, leading German veterinarians to doubt that the African disease was Rinderpest. Financial constraints and conflicting development agendas, especially tension between ranching and pastoralism, deterred early colonial applications of veterinary science that might have led to an early diagnosis. European veterinarians, guarding their authority against medical researchers, opposed inoculation therapies in the case of Rinderpest in favor of veterinary policing despite recent breakthroughs in vaccine research. The virus was not identified before reaching South Africa in 1896, but this breakthrough had little influence on policy in East Africa. Yet emergent international disease conventions directed at bubonic plague entangled with veterinary policy in East Africa.