Workshop compartmentalisation at the ECVPH Annual Conference 2020

October 30, 2020

How can trade be maintained when a country or region is facing transboundary diseases, such as African swine fever (ASF)? In the recent workshop at the European College of Veterinary Public Health (ECVPH) online annual conference, SAFOSO provided an overview on compartmentalization as an emerging business strategy in integrated food systems and emphasized the role of private industry and veterinary authorities in its implementation. The implementation of compartments is an initiative mainly driven by the industry that requires a close private-public partnership with the veterinary authorities.

Using ASF as a case study, the participants of the workshop were given the opportunity to reflect on the role and effectiveness of compartmentalization in the current food systems. The output of the workshop may be published as a short scientific communication.

Compartmentalization is a relatively novel approach that has been implemented as a risk management and mitigation strategy against transboundary animal diseases.

A compartment comprises one or more establishments under the same biosecurity, management conditions and animal health status. By implementing a compartment, the industry can establish a secure and recognized network before an outbreak occurs, which consequently allows ensure the continuity of safe international trade and to meet the food demand in times of sanitary crises. In the course of the current spread of ASF, compartmentalization is gaining importance in some countries (e.g. Canada) to support the pigs and pigs products trade in the occurrence of an ASF outbreak.

The OIE recognizes a compartment as an equivalent of a zone free of disease and has published a checklist on the practical application of compartmentalization.

Also, during times of freedom of a transboundary disease, compartments offer many benefits such as an overall increased biosecurity of all involved business operations and a complete understanding of the entire value chain.

Although the benefits of compartmentalization are obvious, the concept is not well-known and only few compartments have been established so far. It is therefore essential that the industry and the veterinary community becomes more familiar with the concept, understands the main pillars of a compartment and last but not least, understands the differences to zoning.


"Workshop Compartmentalisation facing transboundary animal diseases: an emerging business strategy" presentation slides

ECVPH online AGM & Annual Scientific Conference 2020, 23-24 September Website

See also our article published on pig333: Compartmentalization for African swine fever

Contact us for more information or help with compartmentalization projects at

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