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Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Animal Welfare; Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, and Rabbits

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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.


Extension of approval of an 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 request an extension of approval of an information collection in support of regulations issued under the Animal Welfare Act for the humane treatment and handling of guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits.


We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 26, 2005.

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You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • EDOCKET: Go to​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. 05-046-1, 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. 05-046-1.

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​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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For information regarding the Animal Welfare Act regulations for guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits, contact Dr. Barbara Kohn, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Animal Care, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 84, Riverdale, MD 20737-1234; (301) 734-7833. 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: Animal Welfare; Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, and Rabbits.

OMB Number: 0579-0092.

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

Abstract: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) administers regulations and standards that have been promulgated under the Animal Welfare Act to promote and ensure the humane care and treatment of regulated animals under the Act. The regulations in title 9, part 3, subparts B and C, of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contain specifications for the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits. The regulations require, among other things, the documentation of specified information concerning the transportation of these animals.

The transportation standards for guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits require intermediate handlers and carriers to accept only shipping enclosures that meet the minimum requirements set forth in the regulations (§§ 3.36 and 3.61) or that are accompanied by documentation signed by the consignor verifying that the shipping enclosures comply with the regulations. If guinea pigs, hamsters, or rabbits are transported in cargo space that falls below 45 °F (7.2 C), the regulations specify that the animals must be accompanied by a certificate of acclimation signed by a USDA-accredited veterinarian.

In addition, all shipping enclosures must be marked with the words “Live Animals” and have arrows indicating the correct upright position of the container. Intermediate handlers and carriers are required to attempt to contact the consignee at least once every 6 hours upon the arrival of any live animals. Documentation of these attempts must be recorded by the intermediate handlers and carriers and maintained for inspection by APHIS personnel.

The above reporting and recordkeeping requirements do not mandate the use of any official government form.

The burden generated by APHIS requirements that all shipping documents be attached to the container has been cleared by the Office of Management (OMB) under OMB control number 0579-0036.

The reporting and recordkeeping requirements of 9 CFR part 3, subparts B and C, are necessary to enforce regulations intended to ensure the humane treatment of guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits during transportation in commerce.

We are asking OMB to approve our use of this information collection activity for an additional 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information 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 0.11555 hours per response.

Respondents: Intermediate handlers, carriers, class “A” and “B” dealers (as consignors), USDA-accredited veterinarians.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 1,470.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.5306.

Estimated annual number of responses: 2,250.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 260 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 21st day of June, 2005.

Elizabeth E. Gaston,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E5-3322 Filed 6-24-05; 8:45 am]