The Observatory of the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) has just launched its first thematic study focused on the international standard for zoning. It marks a milestone in the monitoring and assessment of WOAH’s standards implementation.

The study collected data through a questionnaire sent to WOAH members to assess the use of zoning for avian influenza, African swine fever (ASF), and foot and mouth disease (FMD). The results revealed that the standard was implemented by 70%, 55%, and 50% of members impacted by these diseases, respectively.

The report highlights the importance of members having the necessary prerequisites,  capacity, and resources to effectively implement and sustain zoning in the long term. Furthermore, it highlights the need to adapt the standard’s implementation to the context of each member country.

WOAH’s international standards, including zoning, play a critical role in improving global animal health, veterinary public health, and facilitating international and regional trade. However, their implementation can face challenges, including the limited capacity of some members to adhere to them.

The WOAH’s Observatory was created to monitor the implementation of international standards and improve support for members, while monitoring the  relevance and understanding of these standards.

This study marks a significant step forward in WOAH’s commitment to innovation and continuous improvement in the control of infectious animal diseases. The data collected will help national and international officials make informed decisions to strengthen health systems and improve global health security.

The next phase of the study, focused on compartmentalization, is expected to follow in 2024-2025, delving deeper into the data collected on zoning and exploring the factors that might impact its acceptance by trading partners. The results of this phase will be shared later in 2024.

Chile is already negotiating zoning with Mexico for poultry, with South Korea for pigs, and it expects for negotiations to begin shortly with Canada for poultry; China for both poultry and pigs; and Japan for pigs. This would allow the country to continue exports from areas free of diseases such as avian influenza.

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