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Rule

Remove South Carolina From the Lists of States Approved To Receive Stallions and Mares From CEM-Affected Regions

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the animal importation regulations by removing South Carolina from the lists of States approved to receive certain stallions and mares imported into the United States from regions affected with contagious equine metritis. This action is necessary because South Carolina no longer offers contagious equine metritis quarantine or treatment services and has requested removal from the lists.

DATES:

Effective Date: November 20, 2008.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Ellen Buck, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Start Printed Page 70257Technical Trade Services, National Center for Import and Export, APHIS, VS, 4700 River Road Unit 39, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-8084.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The regulations in 9 CFR part 93 (referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or restrict the importation of specified animals and animal products to protect U.S livestock from communicable diseases.

In § 93.301, paragraph (c)(1) prohibits the importation of horses into the United States from certain regions where contagious equine metritis (CEM) exists. Paragraph (c)(2) lists categories of horses that are excepted from this prohibition, including, in § 93.301(c)(2)(vi), horses over 731 days of age imported for permanent entry if the horses meet the requirements of § 93.301(e).

One of the requirements in § 93.301(e) is that mares and stallions over 731 days old imported for permanent entry from regions where CEM exists be consigned to States listed in § 93.301(h)(6), for stallions, or in § 93.301(h)(7), for mares. The Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has approved these States to receive stallions or mares over 731 days of age from regions where CEM exists because each State has entered into a written agreement with the Administrator to enforce State laws and regulations to control CEM, and each State has agreed to quarantine, test, and treat stallions and mares over 731 days of age from any region where CEM exists, in accordance with § 93.301(e).

The CEM program is a voluntary, cooperative initiative between APHIS and the States. As noted, States that have entered into an agreement with the Administrator and have been approved to receive horses from CEM-affected regions are listed in § 93.301(h) of the regulations. South Carolina entered into such an agreement and was included in the lists in § 93.301(h). However, it has been several years since South Carolina last received horses for CEM quarantine and treatment, and the State has ceased operation of CEM quarantine and treatment facilities. Consequently, South Carolina has requested removal from the lists of States approved to receive stallions and mares from CEM-affected regions. Therefore, in this rule, we are removing South Carolina from those lists.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act; Effective Date

This action has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

As noted, a State's decision to enter into a written agreement with the Administrator to enforce State laws and regulations to control CEM and to quarantine, test, and treat stallions and mares over 731 days of age from CEM-affected regions in accordance with § 93.301(e) is voluntary. Because the State of South Carolina has notified APHIS that it has discontinued these activities and has withdrawn from its agreement with the Administrator, it does not appear that public participation in this proceeding would make additional relevant information available to the Department.

Accordingly, pursuant to the administrative procedure provisions in 5 U.S.C. 553, we find upon good cause that prior notice and other public procedure with respect to this action are not necessary. We also find good cause for making this action effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Further, this action is not a rule as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and, thus, is exempt from the provisions of the Act.

Executive Order 12372

This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with States and local officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

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 no retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This 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 93

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Accordingly,

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PART 93—IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, AND CERTAIN ANIMAL, BIRD, AND POULTRY PRODUCTS; REQUIREMENTS FOR MEANS OF CONVEYANCE AND SHIPPING CONTAINERS

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1. The authority citation for part 93 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1622 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. Section 93.301 is amended as follows:

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a. In paragraph (h)(6), by removing the words “The State of South Carolina”.

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b. In paragraph (h)(7), by removing the words “The State of South Carolina”.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 14th day of November 2008.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-27596 Filed 11-19-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P