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Rule

Add Mauritius to the List of Regions Where African Swine Fever Exists

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the regulations concerning the importation of animals and animal products by adding Mauritius to the list of regions where African swine fever exists. We are taking this action because outbreaks of African swine fever have been Start Printed Page 9175confirmed in various locations throughout Mauritius. This action will restrict the importation of pork and pork products into the United States from Mauritius and is necessary to prevent the introduction of African swine fever into the United States.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective February 20, 2008. However, we are imposing its restrictions retroactively to October 17, 2007. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 21, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

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:

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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

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 October 19, 2007, the Republic of Mauritius reported to the World Organization for Animal Health three outbreaks of ASF in various areas throughout the country. The source of the outbreak is unknown. Therefore, in order to prevent the introduction of ASF into the United States, we are amending the regulations by adding Mauritius to the list in § 94.8 of regions 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 Mauritius will be restricted. We are imposing this restriction retroactively to October 17, 2007, which is the date that the presence of ASF in Mauritius was confirmed.

Emergency Action

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 Mauritius 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 Mauritius. Mauritius has had no swine or swine products exports to the United States in the past several years. Since the United States does not currently import any pork or pork products from Mauritius, 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.

Executive Order 12988

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 October 17, 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.).

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List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 94

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Accordingly, we are amending

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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 IMPORTATIONS

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1. The authority citation for part 94 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, 7781-7786, and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

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[Amended]
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2. In § 94.8, the introductory text is amended by adding the word “Mauritius,” after the word “Malta,”.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 13th day of February 2008.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-3107 Filed 2-19-08; 8:45 am]

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