Zones or compartments have become new buzzwords in animal health. The idea behind them may yet foster more success in controlling important livestock diseases.

So-called compartmentalization seeks to define areas of a country according to their health status and biosecurity measures rather than by their geography or by national boundaries. The hope is that the compartments identified could be treated preferentially for international trading purposes as a safer source of meat or of breeding stock.

But it blends in with the voluntary initiatives of some producer organizations to measure and then control specific animal diseases in their territory. The producers aim to gain by having a healthier region in which less medication is needed and performance is higher. However, their version of compartments could also become the place for highly targeted health campaigns that made the geographic area the equivalent of an export zone.