Currently, the world meat trade is undergoing substantial changes as a consequence of the spread of transboundary animal diseases. These diseases have resulted in the implementation of trade embargoes applied nation-wide against infected countries, contrary to the principle of regionalization. This principle allows a country to declare part of its territory free from a given disease even though there have been outbreaks in other regions thus averting the need to suspend all exports. Its application consists in the formal recognition that a zone is disease- or pest-free. This article presents some of the disputes caused by reluctance to apply the regionalization principle in the case of the three main transboundary diseases that have affected meat trade in recent years: "mad cow disease", foot and mouth disease, and avian flu. This article analyses the positions taken by some consumer markets and the challenges that the principal exporting nations have faced when confronted with trade embargoes.