Uncertainty is an inherent feature of strategies to contain animal disease. In this paper, an interdisciplinary framework for representing strategies of containment, and analysing how uncertainties are embedded and propagated through them, is developed and illustrated. Analysis centres on persistent, periodic and emerging disease threats, with a particular focus on cryptosporidiosis, foot and mouth disease and avian influenza. Uncertainty is shown to be produced at strategic, tactical and operational levels of containment, and across the different arenas of disease prevention, anticipation and alleviation. The paper argues for more critically reflexive assessments of uncertainty in containment policy and practice. An interdisciplinary approach has an important contribution to make, but is absent from current real-world containment policy.