Historical records reporting cases of animal anthrax in the canton of Zurich between 1878 and 2005 were analysed on the level of political communities regarding occurrence and number of cases, animals affected, and number of communities affected. Data were correlated with industrial activities (tanning, wool and horse hair processing) in a community and to the prevailing meteorological conditions. A total of 830 cases of animal anthrax has been recorded in 140 of 171 communities. Occurrence correlated with industrial activities in a community such as companies handling potentially contaminated materials (hides, fur, wool, hair, meat, or bone meal). The influence of wool processing companies (P = 0. 004) and tanneries (P = 0. 032) was significant whereas horse hair processing had no effect. However, a statistical relationship between the number of cases reported and meteorological data (rainfall, mean temperature) was not found.