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Rule

Tuberculosis in Cattle and Bison; State and Zone Designations; California

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the bovine tuberculosis regulations regarding State and zone classifications by raising the designation of California from modified accredited advanced to accredited-free. We have determined that California meets the criteria for designation as an accredited-free State.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective April 15, 2005. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 14, 2005.

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. 05-010-1, 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. 05-010-1.
  • 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 on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Michael Dutcher, Senior Staff Veterinarian, National Tuberculosis Eradication Program, Eradication and Surveillance Team, National Center for Animal Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231, (301) 734-5467.

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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” (referred to below as the regulations), and in the “Uniform Methods and Rules—Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication” (UMR), which is incorporated by reference into the regulations. The regulations restrict the interstate movement of cattle, bison, and captive cervids to prevent the spread of tuberculosis. Subpart B of the regulations contains requirements for the interstate movement of cattle and bison not known to be infected with or exposed to tuberculosis. The interstate movement requirements depend upon whether the animals are moved from an accredited-free State or zone, modified accredited advanced State or zone, modified accredited State or zone, accreditation preparatory State or zone, or nonaccredited State or zone.

Request for Accredited-Free Status in California

The State of California has been classified as modified accredited advanced for cattle and bison. However, we have received from the State of California a request to be recognized as an accredited-free State for cattle and bison.

With regard to cattle and bison, State animal health officials in California have demonstrated to APHIS that California meets the criteria for accredited-free status set forth in the definition of accredited-free State or zone in § 77.5 of the regulations. In accordance with these conditions, California has demonstrated that the State has zero percent prevalence of affected cattle or bison herds and has had no findings of tuberculosis in any cattle or bison herds in the 2 years since the depopulation of the last affected herd in the State. Additionally, the State complies with the conditions of the UMR.

Therefore, we are amending the regulations to remove California from the list of modified accredited advanced States in § 77.9(a) and adding it to the list of accredited-free States in § 77.7(a).

Immediate Action

Immediate action is warranted to accurately reflect the current tuberculosis status of California as an accredited-free State. This action will provide prospective cattle and bison buyers with accurate and up-to-date information, which may affect the marketability of cattle and bison since some prospective buyers prefer to buy cattle and bison from accredited-free States. Under these circumstances, the Administrator has determined that prior notice and opportunity for public Start Printed Page 19878comment are contrary to the public interest and that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this action effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

We will consider comments we receive during the comment period for this interim rule (see DATES above). 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.

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 under Executive Order 12866.

We are amending the bovine tuberculosis regulations regarding State and zone classifications by raising the designation of California from modified accredited advanced to accredited-free. We have determined that California meets the criteria for designation as an accredited-free State.

Cattle or bison that originate in an accredited-free State or zone may be moved interstate without restriction, whereas sexually intact cattle and bison not from an accredited herd are required to have one negative test within 60 days prior to being moved interstate from a modified accredited advanced State or zone. Thus, raising California's designation to accredited-free will eliminate the costs of that testing for herd owners in the State. Tuberculosis testing, which includes veterinary fees and handling expenses, costs approximately $7.50 to $15 per test. The average per-head value of cattle in California was $1,030 in 2003, so the cost of testing represented between 0.7 and 1.5 percent of that average value. These cost savings, while beneficial, will not represent a significant monetary savings. Of course, the more a particular herd owner is involved in interstate movement, the greater the cost savings will be.

Cattle and bison are moved interstate for slaughter, for use as breeding stock, or for feeding. California has approximately 22,000 cattle and bison operations, totaling 5.2 million head. Over 90 percent of herd owners would be considered small businesses. Changing the status of California may enhance the marketability of cattle and bison from the State, since some prospective cattle and bison buyers prefer to buy cattle and bison from accredited-free States. This may also result in some beneficial economic impact on some small entities. However, based on our experience in similar designations of other States, the impact should not be significant.

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 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 rule contains no new 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 77

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Accordingly, we are amending

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PART 77—TUBERCULOSIS

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1. The authority citation for part 77 continues 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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[Amended]
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2. In § 77.7, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the word “California,” immediately after the word “Arkansas,”.

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3. In § 77.9, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:

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Modified accredited advanced States or zones.

(a) The following are modified accredited advanced States: New Mexico and Texas.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of April 2005.

Elizabeth E. Gaston,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-7553 Filed 4-14-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P