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Animal diseases

Pig looking up from the stable
Just like humans, animals can contract diseases. Just think of swine fever or Q fever. This can be dangerous because these diseases can also have an impact on human health, for example through contaminated meat or contaminated materials such as vehicles or clothing.



  • Follow government measures to prevent further infections of animals, such as the obligation to keep animals indoors in case of bird flu.
  • Wash your hands after contact with animals, animal waste or faeces.


  • Listen to the recommendations of the authorities on the consumption of animal products.

Impact and probability

Infectious disease in productive livestock. Impact: moderate. Probability: very likely.Infectious disease in productive livestock with a direct impact on human health. Impact: low impact. Probability: likely..In 2018, the National Crisis Center coordinated a large-scale risk assessment for Belgium for the period 2018-2023. Several experts assessed various risks based on their probability and their impact on people, society, the environment and the economy.

For the risk of 'infectious disease in productive lifestock', the analysis is:

  • Impact: moderate impact
  • Probability: very likely 

Some infectious diseases in animals can also have an impact on humans, just think of bird flu. For the risk of 'infectious disease in productive livestock with a direct impact on human health', the analysis is:

  • Impact: low impact
  • Probability: likely 

Read more about this analysis and what these charts mean here. 

What do the authorities do?

The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) is responsible for animal health on the Belgian territory. They take various preventive measures to avoid the spread of diseases in animals, for example measures on compulsory notification or health certificates.

In case of a disease outbreak, the FASFC works together with a mayor, a governor or the National Crisis Center to manage the incident.