Stopping disease in animals doesn’t only protect their wellbeing – it’s one of the most effective steps we can take in protecting our own health.

60% of diseases in the world are zoonotic, meaning it can spread from animals to people, with the vast majority originating in wildlife. Monitoring and controlling these illnesses mean we can better safeguard public health.

Early warning systems for wildlife could help detect new emerging diseases before they reach people, while support for animal health research and development can help pave the way for new technologies for disease control.

For zoonoses like rabies that can affect animals closer to us, tools like vaccines allow veterinarians to control the illness and minimize the risk of the illness passing to people.

Zoonotic illnesses are a reminder that one of the best ways we can help human health is to improve our understanding and management of animal health.

Quick facts

World Zoonoses Day is celebrated on July 6th each year and commemorates the work of Louis Pasteur, who developed the first vaccine

Just six zoonotic disease outbreaks cost the world an estimated US$120 billion globally between 1995 and 2008.

13 zoonoses are responsible for 2.4 billion cases of human illness and 2.2 million deaths per year.

Researchers estimate 3/4ths of new, emerging diseases are zoonotic, with the vast majority coming from wildlife.

59,000 people die each year from rabies, a leading zoonotic disease.

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