Skip to main content


Here you can find legislation and guidance for zoonoses (diseases that pass from animals to humans).

EU legislation

Directive 2003/99/EC (OJ L 325, p31, 12.12.2003) of the European Parliament and of the Council on the monitoring of zoonoses and zoonotic agents

Amended by

Regulation (EC) No 2160/2003 (OJ L 325, p1, 12.12.2003) of the European Parliament and of the Council on the control of salmonella and other specified food-borne zoonotic agents

Amended by

National legislation

European Communities (Monitoring of Zoonoses) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 154 of 2004)

A zoonosis (plural zoonoses) is defined in Directive 2003/99/EC as meaning “any disease and/or infection which is naturally transmissible directly or indirectly between animals and humans”.

The principal objective of Directive 2003/99/EC is to ensure that zoonoses, zoonotic agents and related antimicrobial resistance are properly monitored, and that food-borne outbreaks receive proper epidemiological investigation, in order to enable the collection in the European Union of the information necessary to evaluate relevant trends and sources of zoonoses.

Directive 2003/99/EC sets out the requirements for:

  • the monitoring of zoonoses and zoonotic agents;
  • the monitoring of related antimicrobial resistance;
  • the epidemiological investigation of food-borne outbreaks; and
  • the exchange of information related to zoonoses and zoonotic agents.