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Rule

Change in Disease Status of Japan Because of Rinderpest and Foot-and-Mouth Disease

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the regulations governing the importation of certain animals, meat, and other animal products by removing Japan from the list of regions declared free of rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease. We are taking this action because the existence of foot-and-mouth disease has been confirmed there. The effect of this action is to prohibit or restrict the importation into the United States from Japan of any ruminant or swine, or any fresh, chilled, or frozen meat of any ruminant or swine. We are taking this action as an emergency measure to protect the livestock of the United States from foot-and-mouth disease.

DATES:

This interim rule was effective March 8, 2000. We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments that we receive by June 19, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Please send your comment and three copies to: Docket No. 00-031-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 00-031-1.

You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.

APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, are available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Gary Colgrove, Chief Staff Veterinarian, National Center for Import & Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-3276.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of certain animals and animal products into the United States in order to prevent the introduction of various animal diseases, including rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, African swine fever, hog cholera, and swine vesicular disease. These are dangerous and destructive communicable diseases of ruminants and swine. Section 94.1 of the regulations lists regions of the world that are declared free of rinderpest or free of both rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Rinderpest or FMD exists in all other regions of the world not listed. Section 94.11 of the regulations lists regions of the world that have been determined to be free of rinderpest and FMD, but are subject to certain restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships with FMD-affected regions.

Prior to the effective date of this interim rule, Japan was listed among those countries considered free of rinderpest and FMD. However, on March 8, 2000, a suspected outbreak of FMD was detected. And on March 27, 2000, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture notified us with confirmation of the FMD diagnosis. Therefore, to protect the livestock of the United States from FMD, we are amending the regulations in § 94.1 by removing Japan from the list of regions that have been declared free of rinderpest and FMD. We are also removing Japan from the list of countries in § 94.11 that are declared to be free of these diseases, but that are subject to certain restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships with FMD-affected regions. As a result of this action, the importation into the United States of any ruminant or swine or any fresh (chilled or frozen) meat of any ruminant or swine that left Japan on or after March 8, 2000, is prohibited or restricted.

Emergency Action

The Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that an emergency exists that warrants publication of this interim rule without prior opportunity for public comment. Immediate action is necessary to prevent the introduction of FMD into the United States.

Because prior notice and other public procedures with respect to this action are impracticable and contrary to the public interest under these conditions, we find good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 to make this action effective less than 30 days after publication. We will consider comments that are received within 60 days of publication of this rule in the Federal Register. After the comment period closes, we will publish another document in the Federal Register. The document will include a discussion of any comments we receive and any amendments we are making to the rule as a result of the comments.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review process required by Executive Order 12866.

This interim rule amends the regulations governing the importation of certain animals, meat, and other animal products by removing Japan from the list of regions declared free of rinderpest and FMD. We are taking this action because Japan's Ministry of Agriculture has reported an outbreak of FMD in that country. This action prohibits or restricts the importation into the United States of any ruminant or swine, or any fresh (chilled or frozen) meat of any ruminant or swine that left Japan on or Start Printed Page 20713after March 8, 2000. This action is necessary to protect the livestock of the United States from FMD.

This emergency situation makes timely compliance with section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) impracticable. We are currently assessing the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. Based on that assessment, we will either certify that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities or publish a final regulatory flexibility analysis.

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has retroactive effect to March 8, 2000; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This interim rule contains no information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 94

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Accordingly, we are amending

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PART 94 RINDERFEST, FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE, FOWL PEST (FOWL PLAGUE), EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE, AFRICAN SWINE FEVER, HOG CHOLERA, AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY: PROHIBITED AND RESTRICTED IMPORTATIONS

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1. The authority citation for part 94 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 147a, 150ee, 161, 162, and 450; 19 U.S.C. 1306, 21 U.S.C. 111, 114a, 134a, 134b, 134c, 134f, 136, and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 4331 and 4332; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.2(d).

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[Amended]
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2. In § 94.1, paragraph (a)(2) is amended by removing the word “Japan,”.

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[Amended]
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3. In § 94.11, paragraph (a), the first sentence is amended by removing the word “Japan,”.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of April 2000 .

Bobby R. Acord,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-9667 Filed 4-17-00; 8:45 am]

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