NPPC submitted comments last week to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on a draft framework for the United States and Canada to continue agricultural trading while controlling highly contagious foreign animal diseases (FADs) through regionalization, or zoning.

The zoning arrangement will facilitate continued trade between disease-free areas of the United States and Canada while safeguarding animal health in both countries. NPPC expressed support for regionalization or zoning, but also highlighted several discrepancies between current U.S. and Canada programs.

In March 2013, USDA implemented an animal disease traceability rule, but, unlike Canada, the rule had no provision for mandatory premise identification or a centralized database for intra- or interstate animal movements or movements to harvest. NPPC also believes USDA should describe the statutory authority in each country that will ensure compliance with zoning decisions.