Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.
Interim rule and request for comments.
We are amending the regulations concerning the importation of animals and animal products by adding Armenia to the list of regions where African swine fever exists. We are taking this action because outbreaks of African swine fever have been confirmed in various locations in the northern portion of Armenia. This action will restrict the importation of pork and pork products into the United States from Armenia and is necessary to prevent the introduction of African swine fever into the United States.
This interim rule is effective January 7, 2008. However, we are imposing this restriction retroactively to August 29, 2007, which is the date that the presence of ASF in Armenia was confirmed. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 7, 2008.
You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0142 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
- Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send two copies of your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0142, 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-2007-0142.
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.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Javier Vargas, Animal Scientist, Regionalization Evaluation Services Staff, National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-0756.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of specified animals and animal products to prevent the introduction into the United States of various animal diseases, including rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, swine vesicular disease, classical swine fever, and African swine fever (ASF). These are dangerous and destructive diseases of ruminants and swine.
Section 94.8 of the regulations lists regions of the world where ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist and imposes restrictions on the importation of pork and pork products into the United States from those regions.
On August 29, 2007, Armenia reported to the World Organization for Animal Health six outbreaks of ASF in various areas in the northern part of the country. The source of the outbreaks is unknown. Therefore, in order to prevent the introduction of ASF into the United States, we are amending the regulations by adding Armenia to the list of regions in § 94.8 where ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist. As a result of this action, the importation into the United States of pork and pork products from Armenia will be restricted. We are imposing this restriction retroactively to August 29, 2007, which is the date that the presence of ASF in Armenia was confirmed.
This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the introduction of ASF into the United States. Under these circumstances, the Administrator has determined that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest and that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this rule 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 interim 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.
This interim rule amends the regulations by adding Armenia to the list of regions in which ASF exists. This action is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the introduction of ASF into the United States.
The rule will restrict the importation of pork and pork products from Armenia. While the United States imported approximately $2.1 million of agricultural products from Armenia between 2002 and 2006, these were largely horticultural products, wine and wine products, and fruit and vegetable products. Pork and pork products are not currently imported from Armenia into the United States. Therefore, it is unlikely that this interim rule will have any substantial effects on trade, or on large or small businesses.
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.Start Printed Page 1044
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 inconsistent with this rule; (2) has retroactive effect to August 29, 2007; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.
Paperwork Reduction Act
This interim rule contains no information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.).Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 94
- Animal diseases
- Meat and meat products
- Poultry and poultry products
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
Accordingly, we are amendingEnd Amendment Part Start Part
PART 94—RINDERPEST, FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE, FOWL PEST (FOWL PLAGUE), EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE, AFRICAN SWINE FEVER, CLASSICAL SWINE FEVER, AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY: PROHIBITED AND RESTRICTED IMPORTATIONSEnd Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 94 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part
2. In § 94.8, the introductory text is amended by adding the word “Armenia,” after the word “Africa,”.End Amendment Part Start Signature
Done in Washington, DC, this 27th day of December 2007.
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E7-25661 Filed 1-4-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P