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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Tuberculosis Testing of Imported Cattle

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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 regulations for tuberculosis testing of imported cattle.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 25, 2006.

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-2006-0057 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site's “User Tips” link.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0057, 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-2006-0057.

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 regulations for tuberculosis testing of imported animals, 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; (301) 734-5467. 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 Testing of Imported Cattle.

OMB Number: 0579-0224.

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

Abstract: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is authorized under the Animal Health Protection Act to prohibit or restrict the importation of animals to prevent the introduction of livestock diseases into the United States.

Regulations concerning the importation of animals are contained in 9 CFR part 93. Subpart D of part 93 pertains to the importation of ruminants, including cattle.

The regulations in subpart D include requirements to ensure that cattle imported into the United States are free of bovine tuberculosis. Among other things, subpart D requires an import permit for cattle from Mexico and certain other countries, and requires that the application for the import permit list the specific location of all premises that the cattle to be imported have been on. Additionally, subpart D requires certification regarding the tuberculosis history of the herds from which a group of cattle is assembled for export to the United States. This information is necessary to allow APHIS to ensure that the cattle to be imported are free of tuberculosis, thereby protecting the health of U.S. livestock.

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 2.0 hours per response.

Respondents: Officials of the national government of the region from which the cattle originate and salaried veterinary officials of exporting regions.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 300.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 75.

Estimated annual number of responses: 7,500.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 15,000 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 22nd day of May 2006.

Elizabeth E. Gaston,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-8139 Filed 5-25-06; 8:45 am]

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