Notifiable diseases

A notifiable disease is a disease named in section 88 of the Animal Health Act 1981 or an Order made under that Act. Section 15(1) of the Act says that:

"any person having in their possession or under their charge an animal affected or suspected of having one of these diseases must, with all practicable speed, notify that fact to a police constable."

In practice, if you suspect signs of any of the notifiable diseases in the table below, you must immediately notify your local Animal Health office.

Disease factsheet

Notifiable Disease Species Affected Occurred last in Great Britain
African Horse Sickness Horses Never
African Swine Fever Pigs Never
Anthrax Cattle and other mammals 2006
Aujeszky's Disease Pigs and other mammals 1989
Avian Influenza (Bird flu) Poultry 2008
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (to BSE home page) Cattle Present
Bluetongue All ruminants and camelids Present
Brucellosis (Brucella abortus)  Cattle 2004
Brucellosis (Brucella melitensis) Sheep and Goats Never
Classical Swine Fever Pigs 2000
Contagious agalactia Sheep and Goats Never
Contagious Bovine Pleuro-pneumonia Cattle 1898
Contagious Epididymitis (Brucella ovis) Sheep and Goats Never
Contagious Equine Metritis Horses 2010
Dourine Horses Never
Enzootic Bovine Leukosis Cattle 1996
Epizootic Haemorrhagic Virus Disease Deer Never
Epizootic Lymphangitis Horses 1906
Equine Infectious Anaemia Horses 2010
Equine Viral Arteritis Horses 2010
Equine Viral Encephalomyelitis Horses Never
European Bat Lyssavirus (EBLV) Bats 2008
Foot and Mouth Disease Cattle, sheep, pigs and other cloven hoofed animals 2007
Glanders and Farcy Horses 1928
Goat Pox Goats Never
Lumpy Skin Disease Cattle Never
Newcastle Disease Poultry 2006
Paramyxovirus of pigeons Pigeons Present
Pest des Petits Ruminants Sheep and Goats Never
Rabies (Classical) Dogs and other mammals 1970
Rift Valley Fever Cattle, Sheep and Goats Never
Rinderpest (Cattle plague) Cattle 1877
Scrapie (on Defra's BSE website) Sheep and goats Present
Sheep pox Sheep 1866
Swine Vesicular Disease Pigs 1982
Teschen Disease(Porcine enterovirus encephalomyelitis) Pigs Never
Tuberculosis (Bovine TB) Cattle and deer Present
Vesicular Stomatitis Cattle, pigs and horses Never
Warble fly Cattle, (also deer and horses) 1990
West Nile Virus Horses Never

A more complete list of animal diseases and zoonoses is also available on the OIE website.

Specified diseases

Specified diseases are diseases made compulsorily notifiable by the Specified Diseases (Notification and Slaughter) Order 1992 (as amended) and the Specified Diseases (Notification) Order 1996 (as amended) to enact European Union Legislation. The following diseases are covered:

Main aspects of disease control

The Specified Diseases legislation extends the definition of "disease" in section 88 of the Animal Health Act 1981 to include the above diseases, and applies section 32 of the Act, which enables the Secretary of State to cause animals to be slaughtered on account of disease, to apply to these diseases.

Council Directive 92/119 does provide that certain specified Diseases shall be subject to compulsory slaughter, and the imposition of 3 km protection zone and a 10 km surveillance zone around premises where disease is confirmed. Restrictions would remain in force for a variable time depending on the incubation period of the disease in question.

Most of these diseases have never been recorded in Great Britain.


Note: Bluetongue was originally covered by the specified diseases provisions in Directive 92/119. It is now the subject of a separate Council Directive (2000/75) which applies the control measures as for African Horse Sickness. Essentially, these involve a larger protection zone and surveillance zone and a longer period of time in which the restrictions remain in force.

Page last modified: November 30, 2010