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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection

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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:

Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection in support of the domestic tuberculosis eradication program.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 25, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

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. 03-065-1, 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. 03-065-1. If you use e-mail, address your comment to regulations@aphis.usda.gov. 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. 03-065-1” 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 http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information regarding the domestic tuberculosis eradication program, contact Dr. Michael Gilsdorf, Director, Eradication and Surveillance Team, National Center for Animal Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-6954. 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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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Tuberculosis.

OMB Number: 0579-0146.

Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for, among other things, preventing the interstate spread of pests and diseases of livestock within the United States and for conducting eradication programs. In connection with this mission, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) participates in the Cooperative State-Federal Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Program, which is a national program to eliminate bovine tuberculosis from the United States. This program is conducted under various States' authorities supplemented by Federal authorities regulating interstate movement of affected animals.

Our tuberculosis regulations in title 9, part 77, of the Code of Federal Regulations provide for the assignment of tuberculosis risk classifications for State, for the creation of tuberculosis risk status zones within the same State, and for the conducting of tests before regulated animals are permitted to move interstate. The zone and testing requirements enhance the ability of States to move healthy, tuberculosis-free cattle, bison, goats, and captive cervids interstate as well as the effectiveness of our eradication program.

The requirements of the tuberculosis regulations necessitate the use of several information collection activities that include (1) the submission of a formal request for a zone classification change in a State; (2) an epidemiological review of reports of all testing for all zones within a State within 30 days of testing; (3) the submission of an annual report to APHIS in order to qualify for renewal of accredited free State or zone status; (4) the completion of a certificate of tuberculin test that must accompany certain regulated animals moved interstate; (5) the retention for 2 years of any certificates documenting the movement of regulated animals into and out of zones; and (6) the creation of a tuberculosis herd management plan as a tool for eradicating tuberculosis within a State or zone, thus avoiding a downgrade in a State's or zone's tuberculosis status.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities for an additional 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning this information collection. We need this outside input to 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 information collection, 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 information collection 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 0.291666 hours per response.

Respondents: State animal health authorities, including State veterinarians and designated State tuberculosis epidemiologists.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 210.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 9.6.

Estimated annual number of responses: 2,016.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 588 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 Start Printed Page 38001for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of June, 2003.

Peter Fernandez,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-16184 Filed 6-25-03; 8:45 am]

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