Abstract The trade in live animals between India and Brazil dates from the late nineteenth century when European travellers traded animals of Indian origin for display in zoos. Considering the origin of coffee and sugar cane, as well as the expertise related to mineral evaluation, we need to consider that India was involved in important economic cycles of Brazil, even indirectly. This virtuous flow of trade has been maintained and intensified throughout modern history, especially after these two nations gained political independence from their colonisers, thereby becoming independent in mercantile affairs. This paper addresses the main points related to the use of animals of Indian origin in Brazil. We revisit some of the historical aspects of the process of colonisation of Brazil, as well as the importation of animals from India. The restrictions imposed on this process due to the occurrence of diseases in cattle and buffalo in India will be examined. At the end of the text, emphasis will be given to the risks of introducing exotic diseases into Brazil.