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Proposed Rule

Change in Disease Status of the Patagonia South Region of Argentina With Regard to Rinderpest and Foot-and-Mouth Disease

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed rule; withdrawal.

SUMMARY:

We are withdrawing a proposed rule that would have added that portion of the Patagonia region of Argentina located south of latitude 42° south (Patagonia South) to the list of regions considered free of rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). The proposed rule would also have added that region to the list of regions that are subject to certain import restrictions on meat and meat products because of their proximity to or trading relationships with rinderpest- or FMD-affected regions. We are taking this action because we have prepared an updated risk analysis relative to Argentina that is being made available in accordance with a newer process for recognizing the animal health status of regions.

DATES:

The proposed rule published on January 5, 2007 (72 FR 475) is withdrawn, effective January 23, 2014.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Silvia Kreindel, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Regionalization Evaluation Services, National Import Export Services, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-3308.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On January 5, 2007, we published in the Federal Register (72 FR 475-480, Docket No. APHIS-2005-0096) a proposal [1] to amend the regulations in § 94.1 by adding that portion of the Patagonia region of Argentina located south of latitude 42° south (referred to below as Patagonia South) to the list of regions that are considered free of both rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). We proposed this because there had been no outbreak of FMD in the Patagonia South region of Argentina since 1976 and there was no evidence that there were any species infected with FMD in Patagonia South at that time. In addition, because rinderpest has never been diagnosed in Argentina and is not endemic to that region of the world, we also proposed to recognize Patagonia South as free of rinderpest. Finally, we proposed to amend the regulations in § 94.11 by adding Patagonia South to the list of regions that are subject to certain import restrictions on meat and other animal products because of their proximity to or trading relationships with rinderpest- or FMD-affected regions.

We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending March 6, 2007. We received 45 comments by that date. Based on the comments we received and other considerations, we concluded that it was necessary to reexamine the risk analysis. We have completed an updated risk analysis covering the Patagonia South region, as well as the Patagonia North B region, in Argentina that we will be making available for review and comment. However, as discussed in more detail below, since the publication of the proposed rule, we have changed the process by which we recognize the animal health status of regions. Therefore, we are withdrawing the January 5, 2007, proposed rule and will make the new risk analysis available in accordance with the current process.

In a final rule [2] published in the Federal Register on January 10, 2012 (77 FR 1388-1396, Docket No. APHIS-2009-0035), we removed lists of regions classified with respect to certain animal diseases and pests from our animal and animal product import regulations in 9 CFR parts 92, 93, 94, 96, and 98. The lists are now posted on APHIS' Web site, rather than published in the Code of Federal Regulations. These lists are maintained on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​import_​export/​animals/​animal_​disease_​status.shtml. Copies of the lists are also available via postal mail, fax, or email upon request to National Import and Export Services, Veterinary Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, Maryland 20737.

The regulations in 9 CFR 92.2 contain requirements for requesting the recognition of the animal health status of a foreign region or for the approval of the export of a particular type of animal or animal product to the United States from a foreign region. If, after review and evaluation of the information submitted in support of the request, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) believes the request can be safely granted, APHIS will make the evaluation available for public comment through a notice published in the Federal Register. Following the close of the comment period, APHIS will review all comments received and will make a final determination regarding the request that will be detailed in another notice published in the Federal Register.

In accordance with this process, we are announcing the availability of an evaluation of the FMD status of a region of Patagonia, Argentina, in a notice published today in the Federal Register (Docket No. APHIS-2013-0105). The concerns and recommendations of all the commenters on the January 5, 2007, proposed rule have been considered in the development of the new evaluation.

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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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Done in Washington, DC, this 16th day of January 2014.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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Footnotes

1.  To view the proposed rule and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2005-0096.

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2.  See http://www. regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2009-0035.

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[FR Doc. 2014-01231 Filed 1-21-14; 4:15 pm]

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