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Brucellosis Class Free States and Certified Brucellosis-Free Herds; Revisions to Testing and Certification Requirements

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule; extension of comment period.

SUMMARY:

We are extending the comment period for an interim rule modifying brucellosis testing, classification, and certification requirements for certain Class Free States. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 11, 2011.

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:

Dr. Debbi Donch, National Brucellosis Program Staff, National Center for Animal Health Programs, VS, APHIS, Start Printed Page 63234700 River Road, Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-6954.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On December 27, 2010, we published in the Federal Register (75 FR 81090-81096, Docket No. APHIS-2009-0083) an interim rule that amended the brucellosis regulations to reduce the amount of testing required to maintain Class Free status for States that have been Class Free for 5 or more years and that also have no Brucella abortus in wildlife. The interim rule also removed the provision for automatic reclassification of any Class Free State or area to a lower status if two or more herds are found to have brucellosis within a 2-year period or if a single brucellosis-affected herd is not depopulated within 60 days. Further, the interim rule reduced the age at which cattle are included in herd blood tests. The interim rule also added a requirement that any Class Free State or area with Brucella abortus in wildlife must develop and implement a brucellosis management plan approved by the Administrator in order to maintain Class Free status. Finally, the interim rule provided an alternative testing protocol for maintaining the certified brucellosis-free status of dairy herds, which will give producers more flexibility for the herd certification process.

Comments on the interim rule were currently required to be received on or before February 25, 2011. We are extending the comment period on Docket No. APHIS-2009-0083 for an additional 14 days. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 31st day of January 2011.

Gregory L. Parham,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2011-2507 Filed 2-3-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P