The term epidemiology is defined as the science of the study of disease patterns. The correct term which refers to the epidemiology of animal diseases is epizootiology, however this term is not in common use.
The department collects and tracks reports of animal disease. The department summarizes disease outbreaks, tracks the disease patterns, and compares them with information from previous years. The department publishes periodical reports of disease patterns addressed to the entire public and the veterinary doctors.
The department regularly submits reports concerning the spread of animal disease in Israel r, and in cases of unusual disease outbreaks, to the OIE (which is the World Organization for Animal Health), the European Union and other relevant countries.
The epidemiology department mainly focuses its attention on contagious animal diseases, on zoonoses (diseases which are transferred from animals to human beings) and diseases which have a great economic effect on the various animal industries.
At times of animal disease outbreaks the department produces maps which assist in making decisions concerning methods to control the disease and preventing its spread.
In addition, the maps provide important tools for understanding the spreading patterns of the various diseases.
At times of unusual outbreaks, the department performs extensive epidemiological (epizootiological) investigations in order to trace the origin of the disease and the patterns in which it might have spread.