Pathogens in animals will continue to emerge and re-emerge, throughout the world. A significant part of these agents may jump to humans. To improve preparedness, Wageningen University & Research works on the development and implementation of a tiered approach for rapid detection of new and emerging pathogens in animals. This includes classical, as well as innovative molecular methods to identify and characterise such pathogens. To address questions on risks and control, a structured approach to rapid risk evaluation of potential microbiological hazards has been developed.