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Zoonoses are diseases that can spread from animals to people

A disease which is naturally transmissible from animals to people is classified as a zoonosis. More than 200 zoonoses have been identified involving all types of agents, bacteria, parasites, viruses, prions, fungi and others.

Zoonotic diseases can spread through a variety of means such as working closely with livestock, household pets, exhibited animals or wildlife, by coming in contact with soil or water contaminated by animals or by consuming un-pasteurised dairy products.


Practising good personal hygiene, wearing protective clothing, maintaining healthy animals and undertaking vaccination where appropriate, can minimise the risk of some animal-borne diseases infecting people.

Find out more about preventing zoonotic diseases .

Known zoonotic diseases include

Last updated 24 March 2016