A disease humans can catch from animals and vice versa

Zoonoses are diseases that can be passed from animals to humans and vice versa, and they cover a broad range of diseases with different clinical and epidemiological features and control measures. The causative organism may be viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoal, parasitic or any other contagious agent. Farm staff and visitors should follow hygienic precautions to minimize risk of spread.

Human or animal

Animals can catch diseases from humans too.

Zoonotic infections in man can be transmitted by a variety of routes, such as in food, water, person to person, animal to person, indirect contact through clothing, equipment, and through insect or animal vectors.

In the UK zoonotic diseases are often notifiable or reportable to the APHA because of the related public health risk.

Zoonotic cattle diseases covered in Farm Health Online include:

  1. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
  2. Bovine Tuberculosis
  3. Brucellosis
  4. Calf Diarrhea
  5. Campylobacteriosis
  6. Cryptosporidiosis
  7. Leptospirosis
  8. New Forest Eye
  9. Ringworm
  10. Rotavirus and Coronavirus
  11. Salmonellosis

By http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/dpdx/images/ParasiteImages/S-Z/Taeniasis/Taenia_LifeCycle.gif, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=776789

Pig zoonoses

Neurocyctercercosis or brain damage in humans (DeGiorgio et al., 2004), which may be endemic in many low income countries (Garcia et al., 2014) which results from the accidental ingestion of eggs of Taenia solium, possibly from the consumption of undercooked meat from pigs that have consumed human feces infested with Taenia soleum (tapeworm).

Pigs and wild animals infected with the roundworm Trichinella can pass this to humans causing the painful condition trichinosis. Hygiene and meat inspection rules ensure that there is only very low prevalence in Europe and US (Gottstein et al., 2009), although globally this can cause widespread suffering e.g. Akkoc et al. (2009).


Zoonoses References
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  • Livestock should be land-based and integrated with farm cropping enterprises
  • Animals should be provided with conditions that enable them to exhibit natural behaviors
  • Dependency on veterinary medicines should be reduced without jeopardizing the well-being of animals


outdoor access

Animals having outdoor access, shade, shelter, lighting and sufficient space for them to undertake free movement and to exhibit natural behaviors.


Using breeds and strains well-suited and adapted to the prevailing conditions.

Health Plan

Implementing herd and flock planning based on sound ecological practices and epidemiological knowledge.


Undertaking good practice with regard to biosecurity.

closed herds

Maintaining animals in closed herds and flocks and at stocking rates that enables free-movement, reduces risks of disease spread and minimizes environmental damage.

forage and grazing

Forage and grazing being the main source of nutrients for ruminants, and continuously available to non-ruminants.

production practices

Avoiding the use of mutilations as standard production practices.


Improved understanding and responsible usage of veterinary medicines.