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Proposed Rule

Tuberculosis; Amend the Definition of Affected Herd

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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 tuberculosis regulations by removing the two different definitions of affected herd and replacing them with a single, updated definition. This action is necessary because the definitions that appear in the regulations are out-of-date and inconsistent. This action would provide more clarity to the regulations.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 31, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • EDOCKET: Go to http://www.epa.gov/​feddocket to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once you have entered EDOCKET, click on the “View Open APHIS Dockets” link to locate this document.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. 02-111-1, 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. 02-111-1.
  • 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. 02-111-1” on the subject line.
  • Agency Web Site: Go to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​cominst.html for a form you can use to submit an e-mail comment through the APHIS Web site.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for locating this docket and submitting comments.

Reading Room: 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.

Other Information: You may view APHIS documents published in the Federal Register and related information, including the names of groups and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Terry Beals, National Tuberculosis Program Coordinator, Eradication and Surveillance Team, National Center for Animal Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4020 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 101, Oklahoma City, OK 73105; (405) 427-2998.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Bovine tuberculosis is a contagious and infectious granulomatous disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis. It affects cattle, bison, deer, elk, goats, and other warm-blooded species, including humans. Tuberculosis in infected animals and humans manifests itself in lesions of the lung, lymph nodes, bone, and other body parts, causes weight loss and general debilitation, and can be fatal. At the beginning of the past century, tuberculosis caused more losses of livestock than all other livestock diseases combined. This prompted the establishment of the National Cooperative State/Federal Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Program for tuberculosis in livestock. Through this program, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) works cooperatively with the national livestock industry and State animal health agencies to eradicate tuberculosis from domestic livestock in the United States and prevent its recurrence.

Federal regulations implementing this program are contained in 9 CFR part 77, “Tuberculosis” and in the “Uniform Methods and Rules—Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication” (UMR), January 22, 1999, edition, which is incorporated by reference into the regulations in part 77. The regulations restrict the interstate movement of cattle, bison, and captive cervids to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis. Subpart A of part 77 (§§ 77.1-77.4) contains general provisions of the tuberculosis regulations such as definitions; subpart B (§§ 77.5-77.19) contains specific provisions regarding cattle and bison; and subpart C (§§ 77.20-77.41) contains specific provisions regarding captive cervids.

Currently, there are two definitions of affected herd in part 77. In § 77.5, affected herd is defined as “a herd in which tuberculosis has been disclosed in any cattle or bison by an official tuberculin test or by post mortem examination.” In § 77.20, affected herd is defined as “a herd of captive cervids that contains or that has contained one or more captive cervids infected with Mycobacterium bovis (determined by bacterial isolation of M. bovis) and that has not tested negative to the three whole herd tests as prescribed in § 77.39(d) of this part.”

We are proposing to remove these two definitions, which are out-of-date and inconsistent, and replace them with a new definition that would apply to cattle, bison, and captive cervids and be consistent with that in the UMR.

We would define affected herd as “a herd of livestock in which there is strong and substantial evidence that Mycobacterium bovis exists. This evidence should include, but is not limited to, any of the following: Epidemiologic evidence, histopathology, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, bacterial isolation or detection, testing data, or association with known sources of infection.” This single definition, which matches the definition in the UMR, would provide more clarity to the regulations. In addition, the proposed definition would Start Printed Page 40330make the regulations more consistent with the UMR.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. The rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

We are proposing to amend the tuberculosis regulations by removing the two different definitions of affected herd and replacing them with a single, updated definition. This action is necessary because the definitions that appear in the regulations are out-of-date and inconsistent. This action would provide more clarity to the regulations.

No economic benefits of costs are associated with this action, which would simply update and clarify our definition of affected herd. This action would have no effects on small entities, other Federal agencies, State governments, or local governments.

Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would 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 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 in conflict 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.).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 77

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Accordingly, we propose to amend 9 CFR part 77 as follows:

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PART 77—TUBERCULOSIS

1. The authority citation for part 77 would continue to read as follows:

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

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2. Section 77.2 would be amended by adding, in alphabetical order, a definition of affected herd to read as follows:

Definitions.
* * * * *

Affected herd. A herd of livestock in which there is strong and substantial evidence that Mycobacterium bovis exists. This evidence should include, but is not limited to, any of the following: Epidemiologic evidence, histopathology, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, bacterial isolation or detection, testing data, or association with known sources of infection.

* * * * *
[Amended]

3. Sections 77.5 and 77.20 would be amended by removing the definitions of affected herd.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 29th day of June 2004.

W. Ron DeHaven,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-15072 Filed 7-1-04; 8:45 am]

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