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Notice of Request for an Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Interstate Movement of Certain Land Tortoises

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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.


Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the interstate movement of certain land tortoises.


We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 17, 2017.


You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2016-0095 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) 7997039 before coming.

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For information on the interstate movement of certain land tortoises, contact Dr. Christa Speekmann, Import-Export Specialist-Aquaculture, NIES, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 39, Riverdale, MD, 20737; (301) 851-3365. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at 301-851-2483.

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Title: Interstate Movement of Certain Land Tortoises.

OMB Control Number: 0579-0156.

Type of Request: 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture is authorized, among other things, to prohibit or restrict the interstate movement of animals and animal products to prevent the dissemination within the United States of animal diseases and pests.

APHIS' regulations currently prohibit the importation and restrict the interstate movement of certain land tortoises. The regulations in 9 CFR part 93 prohibit the importation of the leopard tortoise, the African spurred tortoise, and the Bell's hingeback tortoise to prevent the introduction and spread of exotic ticks known to be vectors of heartwater disease, an acute, infectious disease of cattle and other ruminants. The regulations in 9 CFR part 74 prohibit the interstate movement of those tortoises that are already in the United States unless they are accompanied by a health certificate that must be signed by a Federal or accredited veterinarian, and must state that the tortoises have been examined by that veterinarian and found free of ticks. Animal owners may use one of several different types of State health certificates that are issued at the State level. All documents request the same data and can be used and submitted to APHIS. The tortoises are usually moved interstate for sale, health care, adoption, or export to another country.

We are asking OMB to approve our use of these information collection activities 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 1.5 hours per response.

Respondents: U.S. tortoise breeders, members of tortoise adoption organizations, and Federal or accredited veterinarians.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 50.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 5.

Estimated annual number of responses: 250.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 375 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 13th day of December 2016.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2016-30458 Filed 12-16-16; 8:45 am]