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Notice of Request for Approval of an Information Collection

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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.


New information collection; comment request.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to initiate a new information collection activity to support the National Animal Health Monitoring System's national Catfish 2003 study.


We will consider all comments we receive that are postmarked, delivered, or e-mailed by July 15, 2002.


You may submit comments by postal mail/commercial delivery or by e-mail. If you use postal mail/commercial delivery, please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to: Docket No. 02-052-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 02-052-1. If you use e-mail, address your comment to Your comment must be contained in the body of your message; do not send attached files. Please include your name and address in your message and “Docket No. 02-052-1” on the subject line.

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​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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For information regarding the national Catfish 2003 study, contact Mr. Chris Quatrano, Management Analyst, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, VS, APHIS, 555 S. Howes, Fort Collins, CO 80521; (970) 490-7847. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.

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Title: National Catfish Study 2003.

OMB Number: 0579-XXXX.

Type of Request: Approval of a new information collection.

Abstract: The United States Department of Agriculture is responsible for protecting the health of our Nation's livestock and poultry populations by preventing the introduction and interstate spread of contagious, infectious, or communicable diseases of livestock (including farm-raised fish) and poultry and for eradicating such diseases from the United States when feasible. In connection with this mission, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) operates the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), which collects, on a national basis, statistically valid and scientifically sound data on the prevalence and economic importance of livestock and poultry diseases. Information from the studies conducted by NAHMS is disseminated to and used by livestock and poultry producers, consumers, animal health officials, private veterinary practitioners, animal industry groups, policymakers, public health officials, media, educational institutions, and others to improve the productivity and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture.

NAHMS' national studies have evolved into a collaborative industry and government initiative to help improve product quality and to determine the most effective means of producing animal and poultry products. APHIS is the only agency responsible for collecting national data on animal and poultry health. Participation in any NAHMS study is voluntary, and all data are confidential.

NAHMS will initiate a national study titled Catfish 2003. Catfish 2003 will take place on farms in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, where 95.2 percent of total U.S. catfish sales and 95.2 percent of the water surface acres for catfish production were located in 2001.[1] The purpose of Catfish 2003 is to support the catfish farming industry through the description of production and processing methods, the evaluation of the overall health status of farm-raised catfish, and the estimation of the prevalence of specific diseases affecting the industry. The potential benefits to the industry from Catfish 2003 include increased production through enhanced pond management and increased consumer confidence in quality through disease reduction.

The specific objectives of Catfish 2003 include the following: (1) Estimating the prevalence of specific diseases affecting the catfish industry, such as enteric septicemia, columnaris, winter kill, proliferative gill disease, visceral toxicosis, and diseases associated with trematodes; (2) assessing the frequency of water quality testing and pond maintenance to correlate specific water characteristics with possible health conditions in catfish; (3) describing management practices used by catfish farmers and their impact on productivity; (4) evaluating the use of nutritional supplements in the catfish farming industry; (5) describing the frequency of health-related management practices, including feeding practices, fingerling purchase and production, stocking procedures, harvesting methods, pest management practices, use of veterinary services, and vaccination and treatment practices.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection activity for the national Catfish 2003 study.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our Start Printed Page 34673information collection. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.458 hours per response.

Respondents: Industry personnel, private veterinary practitioners, company and independent producers, academicians, State veterinary medical officers, and State public health officials.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 1,080.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.

Estimated annual number of responses: 1,080.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 495 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 9th day of May 2002.

Peter Fernandez,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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1.  NASS Catfish Production Report, February 2002.

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[FR Doc. 02-12138 Filed 5-14-02; 8:45 am]