Use, challenges and impact of zoning and compartmentalisation

WOAH’s international standards for zoning and compartmentalisation are designed to support Members in preventing and controlling the spread of diseases, thereby contributing to the safe trade of animals and related commodities. However, previous work by the Observatory has highlighted the challenges in effectively implementing zoning and compartmentalisation standards. Members’ capacity to meet and adhere to these standards remains limited.

Observatory Thematic Study_ A herd of cattle and their reflection on water

The WOAH Observatory aims to monitor the implementation of WOAH standards, and has therefore decided to focus its first thematic study on these two key concepts. In the project’s first phase, a survey was conducted to assess the use of zoning for avian influenza (AI), African swine fever (ASF) and foot and mouth disease (FMD), alongside the associated challenges, benefits and drawbacks.

How did we conduct this first part of the thematic study?

The study was conducted using a questionnaire-based approach. Three separate questionnaires were designed to address the topic for each of the three selected diseases (AI, ASF, FMD). The target respondents were members of the Veterinary Services of all WOAH Members. Each country/territory was invited to complete one questionnaire for each disease. The questionnaires were made available in English, French and Spanish on an online platform. Members could submit their answers electronically from 30 May 2023 to 4 September 2023. The Observatory then cleaned the data, identified the most meaningful indicators, and quantitatively described the respondents’ answers, mainly in the form of percentage distributions.

How can you access the results?

The first results of this study are available in a descriptive report and in a one-page executive summary. The questionnaires sent to Members are available here.

What will be our next steps?

The first report from this study only provides a descriptive analysis of the results from the zoning questionnaires. The second part of the study will involve collecting data from Members focused on compartmentalisation for avian influenza, and conducting a deeper analysis of data collected about both zoning and compartmentalisation. This work will be carried out in 2024. The deeper analysis will further explore issues such as the factors influencing the acceptance of zones and compartments by trade partners.

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