The potential role of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) in the epidemiology and spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) SAT types was investigated by experimental infection and detection of virus in excretions using virus isolation on primary pig kidney cell cultures. In two experiments separated by a period of 24 months, groups of four animals were needle infected with a SAT-1 or SAT-2 virus, respectively and two in-contact controls were kept with each group. Viraemia was detected 3–9 days post-infection and virus isolated from mouth washes and faeces only occasionally up to day 13. The SAT-1 virus was transmitted to only one in-contact control animal, probably via saliva that contained virus from vesicles in the mouth of a needle-infected animal. None of the animals infected with the SAT-2 virus had any vesicles in the mouth, and there was no evidence of transmission to the in-contact controls. No virus was detected in probang samples for the duration of the experiments (60 days post-infection), indicating that persistent infection probably did not establish with either of these isolates. Giraffe most likely do not play an important role in FMD dissemination. Transmission of infection would possibly occur only during close contact with other animals when mouth vesicles are evident.