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Brucellosis in Cattle; State and Area Classifications; Wyoming

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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.


Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.


We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the brucellosis regulations concerning the interstate movement of cattle by changing the classification of Wyoming from Class A to Class Free. We have determined that Wyoming meets the standards for Class Free status. This action relieves certain restrictions on the interstate movement of cattle from Wyoming.


Effective on March 22, 2007, we are adopting as a final rule the interim rule published at 71 FR 54402-54404 on September 15, 2006.

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Dr. Debbi A. Donch, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Ruminant Health Programs, National Center for Animal Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-5952.

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Brucellosis is a contagious disease affecting animals and humans, caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella.

The brucellosis regulations, contained in 9 CFR part 78 (referred to below as the regulations), provide a system for classifying States or portions of States according to the rate of Brucella infection present and the general effectiveness of a brucellosis control and eradication program. The classifications are Class Free, Class A, Class B, and Class C. States or areas that do not meet the minimum standards for Class C are required to be placed under Federal quarantine.

In an interim rule [1] effective September 12, 2006, and published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2006 (71 FR 54402-54404, Docket No. APHIS-2006-0138), we amended the Start Printed Page 13429regulations by changing the classification of the State of Wyoming from Class A to Class Free. That action relieved certain restrictions on the interstate movement of cattle from Wyoming.

Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or before November 14, 2006. We received one comment by that date, from an industry group.

The commenter supported our determination that Wyoming has met the requirements to be classified as a Class Free State. The commenter also raised separate points related to this change in classification, which we will address in this document.

The interim rule stated that the last brucellosis-infected herd of cattle in Wyoming was depopulated in December 2004. The commenter stated that, because the requirements for Class Free classification state that all cattle herds in a Class Free State or area must remain free of field strain Brucella abortus for 12 consecutive months, Wyoming should have been upgraded to the Class Free classification much earlier than September 2006.

In addition to satisfying the requirement for freedom in paragraph (b)(1) of the criteria for a Class Free State or area in § 78.1, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) must determine that a State or area meets all the other requirements in those criteria prior to classifying a State or area as Class Free. This process can take some time, but it would not be appropriate to classify a State or area as Class Free until the process is completed.

The commenter also referred to surveillance programs and risk mitigation measures that are in place to address the risk associated with reservoirs of brucellosis in wild animals in Sublette, Teton, Lincoln, Fremont, Hot Springs, and Park Counties in Wyoming. The commenter stated that APHIS required that this surveillance and risk mitigation be undertaken in order for Wyoming to be reclassified as a Class Free State. The commenter stated that the regulations and the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301-8317) do not give APHIS the authority to impose such requirements in order to achieve Class Free status.

The commenter inaccurately characterizes the origin of these surveillance programs and risk mitigation measures. APHIS' review of the Wyoming brucellosis program recommended that surveillance programs and risk mitigation measures be established to address the risk of infection transmitted from wild animals. We also recommended that the State of Wyoming develop a memorandum of understanding with APHIS to implement these programs and measures. The State of Wyoming recognized the risk associated with the reservoirs of brucellosis that exist in wild animals in parts of that State and took action in cooperation with APHIS.

We based our decision to reclassify Wyoming as a Class Free State for brucellosis on the State's compliance with the requirements in the regulations regarding Class Free status.

Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule and in this document, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule without change.

This action also affirms the information contained in the interim rule concerning Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Orders 12372 and 12988, and the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Further, for this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

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List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 78

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Accordingly, we are adopting as a final rule, without change, the interim rule that amended

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Done in Washington, DC, this 16th day of March 2007.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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1.  To view the interim rule and the comments we received, go to, click on the “Advanced Search” tab, and select “Docket Search.” In the Docket ID field, enter APHIS-2006-0138, then click “Submit.” Clicking on the Docket ID link in the search results page will produce a list of all documents in the docket.

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[FR Doc. E7-5230 Filed 3-21-07; 8:45 am]