Animal Diseases

Most animal diseases do not infect humans

 Quick Index 

From a farmer's point of view diseases fall into four main categories:

  1. Minor diseases and diseases that are easily treated.
    These must be dealt with or the animal will not thrive but they are a matter of routine. If the disease is genetic or the susceptibility to it is genetic then the animal may be fattened as usual but kept out of the breeding pool.
  2. Diseases that are uneconomic to treat.
    These are best dealt with by avoidance or prophylactic methods. When they occur it is usually best to cull the animal immediately.
  3. Diseases that might be spread to humans. These must be treated carefully. Usually the animal and often the whole herd is culled and the carcase disposed of under biosecurity measures.
  4. Diseases of husbandry.
    These are rare among experienced farmers. Newcomers sometimes make basic mistakes. Commonest are mineral deficiencies which are easily made good.

More information

Avian Influenza - 'Bird Flu'
A serious disease in wild birds and poultry that rarely infects humans but is serious when it does.
BSE - 'Mad Cow' disease
A disease of cattle that is the the subject of strict controls worldwide.
Bovine Tuberculosis
A disease of cattle that can be a severe threat to humans too.
Foot and mouth Disease
A serious disease of cloven-hoofed mammals that only very rarely infects humans.