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Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Animals and Animal Products

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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 for the importation of animals and animal products and byproducts to protect against the introduction of bovine spongiform encephalopathy into the United States.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 2, 2015.

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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-2014-0107 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 for the importation of animals and animal products and byproducts to prevent the introduction of bovine spongiform encephalopathy into the United States, contact Dr. Langston Hull, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Veterinary Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 39, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3363. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Animals and Animal Products.

OMB Control Number: 0579-0234.

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 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates the importation of animals and animal products into the United States to guard against the introduction of animal diseases. The regulations in 9 CFR parts 93, 94, 95, and 96 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of certain animals, birds, poultry, meat, other animal products and byproducts, hay, and straw into the United States in order to prevent the introduction of animal diseases, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a chronic degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of cattle.

To help ensure that BSE is not introduced into the United States, the regulations place specified conditions on the importation of certain live ruminants and ruminant products and byproducts. These requirements necessitate the use of several information collection activities, including Veterinary Services (VS) Form 16-3, permit application; certification statements for the importation of ruminants and ruminant products; certificate for inedible processed animal origin materials and products from BSE-free regions; cooperative service agreements with foreign facilities that process and store regulated materials and products destined for importation into the United States; VS Form 17-33, Animals Imported for Immediate Slaughter; the placing of seals on conveyances from the exporting region; agreement with slaughter facilities on use of seals on conveyances transporting animals from BSE minimal-risk regions; notification regarding conditions of sealed shipments; and notification of designated individuals authorized to break seals.

In addition to the above information collection activities, we are adding VS Form 17-130, Ruminants Imported to Designated/Approved Feedlots; and VS Form 1-27, Permit for Movement of Restricted Animals. As a result of adding these two activities and the increase in importations from Canada, the estimated annual number of responses has increased by 110,463, and the estimated total annual burden on respondents has increased by 160,983 hours.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (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 1 hour per response.

Respondents: Herd owners, U.S. importers of regulated animal products, salaried veterinarians in BSE-free regions and BSE-affected regions, foreign exporters of processed animal protein and other regulated materials and products, accredited veterinarians, feedlot managers, and slaughter facility managers.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 4,500.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 52.

Estimated annual number of responses: 235,752.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 231,307 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 22nd day of December 2014.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2014-30501 Filed 12-29-14; 8:45 am]

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