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Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, All Subtypes, and Newcastle Disease; Additional Restrictions

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations to prevent the introduction of highly pathogenic avian influenza, all subtypes, and Newcastle disease into the United States through the importation of birds, poultry, and unprocessed bird and poultry products.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before October 8, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2013-0026 or in our reading room, which 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) 799-7039 before coming.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on the regulations to prevent the introduction of highly pathogenic avian influenza and Newcastle disease, contact Dr. Magde Elshafie, Senior Staff Veterinary Medical Officer, TTS, NCIE, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 40, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3300. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2908.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, All Subtypes, and Newcastle Disease; Additional Restrictions.

OMB Number: 0579-0245.

Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is authorized, among other things, to prohibit or restrict the importation and interstate movement of animals and animal products to prevent the introduction into and dissemination within the United States of livestock diseases and pests. To carry out this mission, APHIS regulates the importation of animals and animal products into the United States. The regulations for the importation of animals and animal products are contained in 9 CFR parts 92 through 98.

The regulations in 9 CFR parts 93, 94, and 95, govern the importation of specified animals and animal products and byproducts to prevent the introduction of various animal diseases, including highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), all subtypes, and Newcastle disease.

HPAI, as defined in § 94.0, is an infectious and fatal disease of poultry. HPAI can strike poultry quickly without any warning signs of infection and, once established, can spread rapidly from flock to flock. HPAI viruses can be spread by manure, equipment, vehicles, egg flats, crates, and people whose clothing or shoes have come in contact with the viruses. In addition, HPAI viruses can remain viable at moderate temperatures for long periods in the environment and can survive indefinitely in frozen material. One gram of contaminated manure can contain enough virus to infect 1 million poultry.Start Printed Page 48646

Newcastle disease is a contagious disease of birds and poultry caused by a paramyxovirus. Newcastle disease, as defined in § 94.0, is one of most infectious diseases of poultry in the world. A death rate of almost 100 percent can occur in unvaccinated poultry flocks. Newcastle disease can also infect and cause death even in vaccinated birds and poultry.

APHIS' regulations prohibit or restrict the importation of unprocessed bird and poultry products and byproducts from regions that have reported the presence of HPAI or Newcastle disease, and contain permit and quarantine requirements for U.S. origin pet birds and performing or theatrical birds and poultry returning to the United States. In addition, there are also restrictions concerning importation of live poultry and birds that have been vaccinated for certain types of avian influenza, or that have moved through or originate from regions where HPAI or Newcastle disease is considered to exist. These regulations require the use of a number of information collection activities, including the completion of a USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services (VS) Application For Permit To Import or Transport Controlled Materials or Organisms or Vectors (VS Form 16-3); a United States Veterinary Permit for Importation and Transportation of Controlled Materials and Organisms and Vectors (VS Form 16-6A); an Application for Approval or Report of Inspection Establishment Handling Restricted Animal Byproducts or Controlled Materials (VS Form 16-25); USDA-APHIS VS Agreement for Handling Restricted Imports of Animal By-Products and Controlled Materials (VS Form 16-26); USDA-APHIS VS Report of Entry, Shipment of Restricted Imported Animal Products and Animal By-Products, and Other Material (VS Form 16-78); USDA-APHIS VS Application for Import or in Transit Permit (Animals, Animal Semen, Animal Embryos, Birds, Poultry, and Hatching Eggs) (VS Form 17-129); USDA-APHIS Agreement of Pet Bird Owner (VS Form 17-8); application of seals and agreements; notarized declaration or affirmation; notification of signs of disease in a recently imported bird; cooperative service agreements, and recordkeeping by processing establishments.

This notice includes a description of the information collection requirements currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for HPAI, all subtypes, and Newcastle disease under number 0579-0367, and for HPAI, subtype H5N1, under number 0579-0245. After OMB approves and combines the burden for both collections under one collection (number 0579-0245), the Department will retire number 0579-0367.

We are asking OMB to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, for an additional 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.419 hours per response.

Respondents: Owners of U.S.-origin pet birds and performing or theatrical birds or poultry returning to the United States, and U.S. importers of bird and poultry carcasses, parts, unprocessed products and byproducts of birds and poultry (bird blood, bird tissues, etc.) from certain regions.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 1,680.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.5.

Estimated annual number of responses: 2,519.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,055 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 5th day of August 2013.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2013-19312 Filed 8-8-13; 8:45 am]

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