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Rule

Brucellosis in Cattle; State and Area Classifications; South Dakota

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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 brucellosis regulations concerning the interstate movement of cattle by changing the classification of South Dakota from Class A to Class Free. We have determined that South Dakota meets the standards for Class Free status. This action relieves certain restrictions on the interstate movement of cattle from South Dakota.

DATES:

This interim rule was effective December 4, 2000. We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments that we receive by February 2, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to: Docket No. 00-103-1, 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. 00-103-1.

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. Valerie Ragan, Senior Staff Veterinarian, National Animal Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-7708.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Brucellosis is a contagious disease affecting animals and humans, caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella.

The brucellosis regulations, contained in 9 CFR part 78 (referred to below as the regulations), provide a system for classifying States or portions of States according to the rate of Brucella infection present and the general effectiveness of a brucellosis control and eradication program. The classifications are Class Free, Class A, Class B, and Class C. States or areas that do not meet the minimum standards for Class C are required to be placed under Federal quarantine.

The brucellosis Class Free classification is based on a finding of no known brucellosis in cattle for the 12 months preceding classification as Class Free. The Class C classification is for States or areas with the highest rate of brucellosis. Class A and Class B fall between these two extremes. Restrictions on moving cattle interstate become less stringent as a State approaches or achieves Class Free status.

The standards for the different classifications of States or areas entail (1) maintaining a cattle herd infection rate not to exceed a stated level during 12 consecutive months; (2) tracing back to the farm of origin and successfully closing a stated percentage of all brucellosis reactor cases found in the course of Market Cattle Identification (MCI) testing; (3) maintaining a surveillance system that includes testing of dairy herds, participation of all recognized slaughtering establishments in the MCI program, identification and monitoring of herds at high risk of infection (including herds adjacent to infected herds and herds from which infected animals have been sold or received), and having an individual herd plan in effect within a stated number of days after the herd owner is notified of the finding of brucellosis in a herd he or she owns; and (4) maintaining minimum procedural standards for administering the program.

Before the effective date of this interim rule, South Dakota was classified as a Class A State.

To attain and maintain Class Free status, a State or area must (1) remain free from field strain Brucella abortus infection for 12 consecutive months or longer; (2) trace back at least 90 percent of all brucellosis reactors found in the course of MCI testing to the farm of origin; (3) successfully close at least 95 percent of the MCI reactor cases traced to the farm of origin during the consecutive 12-month period immediately prior to the most recent anniversary of the date the State or area was classified Class Free; and (4) have a specified surveillance system, as described above, including an approved individual herd plan in effect within 15 days of locating the source herd or recipient herd.

The last brucellosis-infected cattle herd in South Dakota was released from quarantine in December of 1990. Since then, South Dakota has remained a Class A State due to the presence of a privately owned brucellosis-affected bison herd. An intensive plan for management of brucellosis within this affected herd was set forth in January of 1999, with a goal of releasing the herd from quarantine in November 2000. The herd was officially released from quarantine on October 31, 2000.

After reviewing the brucellosis program records for South Dakota, we have concluded that this State meets the standards for Class Free status. Therefore, we are removing South Dakota from the list of Class A States in § 78.41(b) and adding it to the list of Class Free States in § 78.41(a). This action relieves certain restrictions on moving cattle interstate from South Dakota.

Immediate Action

Immediate action is warranted to remove unnecessary restrictions on the interstate movement of cattle from South Dakota. Under these circumstances, the Administrator has determined that prior notice and Start Printed Page 75582opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest and that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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.

Cattle moved interstate are moved for slaughter, for use as breeding stock, or for feeding. Changing the brucellosis status of South Dakota from Class A to Class Free will promote economic growth by reducing certain testing and other requirements governing the interstate movement of cattle from this State. Testing requirements for cattle moved interstate for immediate slaughter or to quarantined feedlots are not affected by this change. Cattle from certified brucellosis-free herds moving interstate are not affected by this change.

The groups affected by this action will be herd owners in South Dakota, as well as buyers and importers of cattle from this State.

There are an estimated 18,300 cattle herds in South Dakota that will be affected by this rule. About 99 percent of these are owned by small entities. Test-eligible cattle offered for sale interstate from other than certified-free herds must have a negative test under present Class A status regulations, but not under regulations concerning Class Free status. If such testing were distributed equally among all animals affected by this rule, Class Free status would save approximately $4 per head.

Therefore, we believe that changing the brucellosis status of South Dakota will not have a significant economic effect on the small entities affected by this interim rule.

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

Executive Order 12372

This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12988

This interim rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule; (2) has no retroactive effect; 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 78

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Accordingly, we are amending

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PART 78—BRUCELLOSIS

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1. The authority citation for part 78 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 21 U.S.C. 111-114a-1, 114g, 115, 117, 120, 121, 123-126, 134b, and 134f; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

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2. Section 78.41 is amended as follows:

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a. In paragraph (a), by adding “South Dakota,” in alphabetical order.

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b. In paragraph (b), by removing “South Dakota,”.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 28th day of November 2000.

Bobby R. Acord,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-30764 Filed 12-1-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-U