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notifiable diseases

Notifiable diseases are animal diseases that you’re legally obliged to report to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), even if you only suspect that an animal may be affected.

Notifiable diseases can be:

  • endemic – already present in the UK, such as bovine TB
  • exotic – not normally present in the UK, such as foot and mouth disease or Anthrax

Some endemic and exotic diseases are zoonotic which means they can pass between animals and humans, such as rabies. 


If you suspect a notifiable animal disease you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. 

In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact your local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

We advise deer managers to identify and store the relevant numbers in their telephones in case they should be required.  APHA vets will investigate – they usually visit your premises and carry out an enquiry or may ask you to collect and submit tissue samples.

Further details on the work of the APHA, including information on the identification of some diseases, can be found on their website.


APHA helpline: In England, call the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301 and choose the relevant options for APHA.


In Wales, call 0300 303 8268. There is an option for callers to hear the telephone message in Welsh. 


In Scotland you should contact your local APHA Field Services Office (see website). The Helplines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. 

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