The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is working with trading partners to establish formal mechanisms to limit the economic impacts FAD events. One such mechanism is an FAD zoning arrangement. A zoning arrangement describes the intent and parameters by which trading partners will recognize each other’s disease control zones or zoning decisions in the event of an FAD outbreak. This recognition allows trade to continue between disease-free zones, which reduces the overall economic impact of a disease outbreak while continuing to safeguard animal health.
Zoning arrangements capitalize on the fact that the United States and many of its trading partners respond to an FAD outbreak within their territory by establishing a disease control zone. The purpose of a control zone is to contain an FAD outbreak and keep the area outside of the zone free of the disease. A control zone typically consists of two or more concentric zones that extend a prescribed distance from a central infected premises. Inside these zones, animal health officials use specific movement controls and response measures to contain and eradicate the disease and ensure that the territory outside of the control zone remains free of the disease.
A zoning arrangement is preceded by a zoning evaluation. Animal health officials evaluate the zoning capability of the partner country, focusing on veterinary infrastructure, emergency response planning, and historical performance responding to FAD events. If the conclusions are favorable, the trading partners then negotiate the parameters for zoning recognition. Zoning arrangements may be reciprocal, meaning that the two parties agree to accept each other’s zones or zoning decisions. A zoning arrangement may apply to one disease or multiple diseases.
Zoning arrangement with Canada
The United States and Canada entered into an FAD zoning arrangement in October 2012. The arrangement pertains to all highly contagious FADs in domestic livestock (including poultry) but not to endemic diseases or disease outbreaks in aquatic species, pets, wildlife, or laboratory or research animals. Establishing a zoning arrangement with Canada was a high priority for governments and industry on both sides of the border. This is because there is considerable integration of animal industries in the two countries and a high volume of cross-border trade in animal commodities. U.S. and Canadian stakeholders were justifiably concerned that an FAD event in either country would lead to major economic losses on both sides of the border. The U.S.-Canada zoning arrangement has proven to be highly beneficial for both parties, limiting the economic impact of FAD events by keeping trade flowing across the common border. Both countries are prepared to implement zoning as needed during future FAD outbreaks.
Other zoning arrangements
APHIS is actively evaluating the potential for zoning arrangements with other key trading partners.