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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Horse Protection Regulations

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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 associated with the Horse Protection Program.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 13, 2006.

AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and, in the lower “Search Regulations and Federal Actions” box, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click on “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0049 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. After the close of the comment period, the docket can be viewed using the “Advanced Search” function in Regulations.gov.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0049, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0049.

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: Additional information about APHIS and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information regarding the Horse Protection Act regulations, contact Dr. Todd Behre, Horse Protection Coordinator, 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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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Horse Protection Regulations.

OMB Number: 0579-0056.

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

Abstract: In 1970, Congress passed the Horse Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1821 et seq.), referred to below as the Act, that prohibits the showing, sale, auction, exhibition, or transport of horses subjected to a cruel and inhumane practice referred to as “soring.” This practice causes a horse to suffer pain in any of its limbs for the purpose of affecting the horse's performance in competition. All horses are covered by the Act and the regulations in title 9, part 11, of the Code of Federal Regulations, although enforcement emphasis has historically been placed on Tennessee Walking horses and other gaited breeds due to the prevalence of soring documented in that industry. The regulations are administered and enforced by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In 1979, APHIS issued regulations in response to an amendment to the Act under which horse show managers may hire private individuals to conduct inspections, in order to limit their liability under the Act if sored horses are entered in their event. These individuals are referred to as designated qualified persons (DQPs). DQPs must be trained and licensed by USDA-certified and monitored programs that are run by horse industry organizations or associations (HIOs).

Enforcement of the Act and its regulations relies on horse inspections conducted by APHIS veterinarians and by DQPs. To ensure that enforcement by DQPs and USDA-certified DQP programs is effective, APHIS requires DQPs, HIOs, and horse show management to maintain or submit records related to these inspections, their DQP programs, and the horse events to APHIS. No official government form is necessary for the reporting and recordkeeping required.

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 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 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 0.8454 hours per response.

Respondents: Designated qualified persons, horse industry organizations, and horse show management.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 1,573.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.77240. Start Printed Page 19477

Estimated annual number of responses: 2,788.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 2,357 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 6th day of April 2006.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 06-3575 Filed 4-13-06; 8:45 am]

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