Cystic echinococcosis caused by Echinococcus granulosus is considered to be an important parasitic infection in livestock. In the present study, which aimed to determine the epidemiology of hydatidosis in buffalo in Iran, slaughterhouses of West Azerbaijan (Urmia), East Azerbaijan (Tabriz), Ardabil (Ardabil), Gilan (Rasht and Hashtpar) and Khuzestan (Ahvaz) were inspected. Age, sex and infected organs were recorded separately, and the observed cysts were examined for fertility and viability. Our results showed that 344 (9%) of 3832 inspected buffaloes were infected with hydatid cysts. The maximum and minimum infection rates occurred in Khuzestan (9.9%) and Ardabil (8%) provinces, respectively. There was no significant difference in the rate of infection in all provinces. Of 344 infected buffaloes, the rate of fertility was 7.3% and the rate of viability in fertile cysts was 78.75%. Hydatid cysts were more prevalent in female compared with male buffaloes (P < 0.05). There was a positive correlation between the age and number of infected hosts in all provinces except East Azerbaijan. The prevalence of infection in lungs was significantly higher than that in the livers of buffaloes in the provinces studied (P < 0.001). In conclusion, the fertility of hydatid cysts in buffaloes was low, as previously demonstrated in cattle, and this animal may play a minor role in the epidemiology of hydatidosis in Iran.