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Proposed Rule

Change in Disease Status of Denmark Because of BSE

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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:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

We are proposing to amend the regulations by adding Denmark to the list of regions where bovine spongiform encephalopathy exists because the disease has been detected in a native born animal in that region. Denmark is currently listed among the regions that present an undue risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy into the United States. Therefore, the effect of this action is a continued restriction on the importation of ruminants that have been in Denmark and meat, meat products, and certain other products of ruminants that have been in Denmark. This action is necessary in order to update Denmark's disease status regarding bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

DATES:

We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments that we receive by July 17, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Please send your comment and three copies to: Docket No. 00-030-1, 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. 00-030-1.

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. Donna Malloy, Senior Staff Veterinarian, National Center for Import and Export, Products Program, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 40, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-3277.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The regulations in 9 CFR parts 93, 94, 95, and 96 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of certain animals, birds, poultry, meat, other animal products and byproducts, hay, and straw into the United States in order to prevent the introduction of various animal diseases, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

BSE is a neurological disease of bovine animals and other ruminants and is not known to exist in the United States.

It appears that BSE is primarily spread through the use of ruminant feed containing protein and other products from ruminants infected with BSE. Therefore, BSE could become established in the United States if materials carrying the BSE agent, such as certain meat, animal products, and animal byproducts from ruminants in regions in which BSE exists or in which there is an undue risk of introducing BSE into the United States, are imported into the United States and are fed to ruminants in the United States. BSE could also become established in the United States if ruminants from regions in which BSE exists, or in which there is an undue risk of introducing BSE into the United States, are imported into the United States.

Sections 94.18, 95.4, and 96.2 of the regulations prohibit or restrict the importation of certain meat and other animal products and byproducts from ruminants that have been in regions in which BSE exists or in which there is an undue risk of introducing BSE into the United States.

In § 94.18, paragraph (a)(1) lists the regions in which BSE exists. Paragraph (a)(2) lists the regions that present an undue risk of introducing BSE into the United States because their import requirements are less restrictive than those that would be acceptable for import into the United States and/or because they have inadequate surveillance. In § 94.18, paragraph (b) prohibits the importation of fresh, frozen, and chilled meat, meat products, and most other edible products of ruminants that have been in any region listed in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2). Paragraph (c) restricts the importation of gelatin derived from ruminants that have been in any of these regions. Section 95.4 prohibits or restricts the importation of certain byproducts from ruminants that have been in any of these regions, and § 96.2 prohibits the importation of casings, except stomach casings, from ruminants that have been in any of these regions. Furthermore, regulations in 9 CFR part 93 pertaining to the importation of live animals provide that APHIS may deny the importation of ruminants from regions where a communicable disease such as BSE exists and from regions that present risks of introducing communicable diseases into the United States (See § 93.404(a)(3)).

Currently, Denmark is among the regions listed in § 94.18(a)(2), which are regions that present an undue risk of introducing BSE into the United States. However, on February 25, 2000, a case of BSE was confirmed in a native-born animal by Denmark's Ministry of Agriculture. Therefore, in order to update Denmark's disease status regarding BSE, we are proposing to amend the regulations by removing Denmark from the list of regions in § 94.18(a)(2) that present an undue risk of introducing BSE into the United States and adding Denmark to the list of regions in § 94.18(a)(1) where BSE is known to exist. The effect of this proposed action is a continued restriction on the importation of ruminants that have been in Denmark and meat and meat products, and certain other products of ruminants that have been in Denmark.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

This proposed 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.

We are proposing to amend the regulations by adding Denmark to the list of regions where BSE exists because the disease has been detected in a native born animal in that region.

Denmark is currently listed among the regions that present an undue risk of introducing BSE into the United States. Regardless of which of the two lists a region is on, the same restrictions apply to the importation of ruminants and meat, meat products, and most other products of ruminants that have been in the region. Therefore, this proposed action will not result in any change in the rules that apply to the importation of ruminants or meat, meat products, and certain other products of ruminants that have been in Denmark.

Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would not Start Printed Page 31291have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12988

This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

List of Subject in 9 CFR Part 94

Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Meat and meat products, Milk, Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, we propose to amend 9 CFR part 94 as follows:

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

1. The authority citation for part 94 would continue 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]

2. Section 94.18 would be amended as follows:

a. In paragraph (a)(1), by adding the word “Denmark,” immediately after “Belgium,”.

b. In paragraph (a)(2) by removing the word “Denmark,”.

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

Craig A. Reed,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-12438 Filed 5-16-00; 8:45 am]

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