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Notice of Availability of an Evaluation of the Classical Swine Fever, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Swine Vesicular Disease, and Rinderpest Status of Croatia

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of availability.

SUMMARY:

We are advising the public that we determined that the Republic of Croatia is free of foot-and-mouth disease, swine vesicular disease, and rinderpest and is low risk for classical swine fever. We are making our determinations, as well as an evaluation we have prepared in connection with this action, available for review and comment.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 6, 2015.

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-2014-0042 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Donald Link, Import Risk Analyst, Regionalization Evaluation Services, National Import Export Services, Veterinary Services, APHIS, 920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27606; (919) 855-7731; Donald.B.Link@aphis.usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of certain animals and animal products into the United States to prevent the introduction of various animal diseases, including classical swine fever (CSF), foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), swine vesicular disease (SVD), and rinderpest. The regulations prohibit or restrict the importation of live ruminants and swine, and products from these animals, from regions where these diseases are considered to exist.

Within part 94, § 94.1 contains requirements governing the importation of ruminants and swine from regions where rinderpest or FMD exists and the importation of the meat of any ruminants or swine from regions where rinderpest or FMD exists to prevent the introduction of either disease into the United States. We consider rinderpest and FMD to exist in all regions except those listed in accordance with paragraph (a) of that section as free of rinderpest and FMD.

Section 94.9 contains requirements governing the importation of pork and pork products from regions where CSF exists. Section 94.10 contains importation requirements for swine from regions where CSF is considered to exist and designates the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)-defined European CSF region as a single region of low-risk for CSF. Section 94.31 contains requirements governing the importation of pork, pork products, and swine from the APHIS-defined European CSF region. We consider CSF to exist in all regions of the world except those listed in accordance with paragraph (a) of § 94.9 [1] as free of the disease.

Section 94.11 of the regulations contains requirements governing the importation of meat of any ruminants or swine from regions that have been determined to be free of rinderpest and FMD, but that are subject to certain restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships with rinderpest- or FMD-affected regions. Such regions are listed in accordance with paragraph (a) of that section.

Section 94.12 of the regulations contains requirements governing the importation of pork or pork products from regions where SVD exists. We consider SVD to exist in all regions of the world except those listed in accordance with paragraph (a) of that section as free of SVD.

Section 94.13 contains importation requirements governing the importation of pork or pork products from regions that have been declared free of SVD as provided in § 94.12(a) but supplement their national pork supply by the importation of fresh (chilled or frozen) meat of animals from regions where SVD is considered to exist, or have a common border with such regions, or have trade practices that are less restrictive than are acceptable to the United States. Such regions are listed in accordance with paragraph (a) of § 94.13.

Section 94.14 states that no swine which are moved from or transit any region in which SVD is known to exist may be imported into the United States except wild swine imported in accordance with § 94.14(b).

The regulations in 9 CFR part 92, § 92.2, contain requirements for requesting the recognition of the animal health status of a region (as well as 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, APHIS believes the request can be safely granted, APHIS will make its evaluation available for public comment through a document 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 Start Printed Page 5729document published in the Federal Register.

The Republic of Croatia submitted a request to APHIS to evaluate the CSF, FMD, SVD, and rinderpest status of the country. In response to this request, APHIS conducted a qualitative risk assessment to evaluate Croatia with respect to these diseases. Based on this evaluation, APHIS recognizes Croatia to be free of FMD, SVD, and rinderpest, and low risk for CSF. APHIS has also determined that the surveillance, prevention, and control measures implemented by the European Union (EU) and Croatia, an EU Member State, are sufficient to minimize the likelihood of introducing CSF, FMD, SVD, and rinderpest into the United States via imports of species or products susceptible to these diseases. Our determinations support adding Croatia to the Web-based list of regions comprising the APHIS-defined European CSF region, which APHIS considers to be low risk for CSF, and to the respective Web-based lists of regions APHIS considers free of FMD, SVD, and rinderpest.

Therefore, in accordance with § 92.2(e), we are announcing the availability of our evaluation of the CSF, FMD, SVD, and rinderpest status of Croatia for public review and comment. We are also announcing the availability of an environmental assessment (EA) and a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) [2] which have been prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provision of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). The evaluation, EA, and FONSI may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room. (Instructions for accessing Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this notice.) The documents are also available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Information submitted in support of Croatia's original request is available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our decision regarding the disease status of Croatia under consideration with respect to CSF, FMD, SVD, and rinderpest and the import status of susceptible animals and products of such animals in a subsequent notice.

Start Authority

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 28th day of January 2015.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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Footnotes

1.  The list of regions comprising the APHIS-defined European CSF region and the lists of regions considered free of FMD, SVD, and rinderpest are located on the APHIS Web site at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​wps/​portal/​aphis/​ourfocus/​importexport?​1dmy&​urile=​wcm%3apath%3a%2Faphis_​content_​library%2Fsa_​our_​focus%2Fsa_​animal_​health%2Fsa_​import_​into_​us%2Fct_​animal_​disease_​status.

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2.  The FONSI for Croatia incorporates by reference an EA prepared for Slovakia that addresses the potential environmental impacts of CSF, FMD, SVD, and rinderpest for Slovakia and other EU Member States.

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[FR Doc. 2015-02011 Filed 2-2-15; 8:45 am]

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