The United States, Australia and New Zealand have signed an agreement to recognize geographic zoning in the event of an outbreak of a foreign animal disease, such as foot-and-mouth disease, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, highly-pathogenic strains of avian influenza or African Swine Fever.
Canada has been lobbying for years to win acceptance for an East-West split, with West Hawk Lake, Manitoba, near the border with Northwestern Ontario, as the dividing point.
The deal means that in the event of an outbreak, bans on trade would apply to only the half of Canada where the outbreak occurred. It's also possible that smaller geographic zones could be accepted, such as Newfoundland.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the deal was signed during a meeting of the World Organization for Animal Health.
Canada also signed two other agreements at the conference. One is to share Foot-And-Mouth Disease vaccine in the event of an outbreak. Mexico is an additional partner in this deal.
The third deal is an agreement to share resources in the event of an outbreak of a foreign animal disease. Those signing this deal are Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States.