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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 activities to prevent the introduction of bovine spongiform encephalopathy into the United States.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 27, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket Start Printed Page 19653may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2017-0033 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 bovine spongiform encephalopathy into the United States, contact Dr. Alexandra MacKenzie, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Live Animal Imports, NIES, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 40, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; 301-851-3411; and Dr. Magde S. Elshafie, Senior Staff Veterinary Medical Officer, NIES, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 40, Riverdale, MD 20737, 301-851-3300. 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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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

OMB Control Number: 0579-0393.

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

Abstract: The Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to, among other things, prohibit or restrict the importation and interstate movement of animals and animal products into or through the United States to prevent the introduction and dissemination of animal diseases and pests.

To guard against the introduction of animal diseases, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulates the importation of animals and animal products into the United States. The regulations in 9 CFR parts 92, 93, 94, 95, and 96 govern the importation of certain animals, birds, poultry, meat, and other animal products and byproducts into the United States to prevent the introduction of various animal diseases, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a chronic degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system of cattle.

Section 92.5 of the regulations provides that all countries of the world are considered by APHIS to be in one of three BSE risk categories: Negligible risk, controlled risk, or undetermined risk. These risk categories are defined in §  92.1. Any region that is not classified by APHIS as presenting either negligible risk or controlled risk for BSE is considered to present an undetermined risk. Under the regulations, APHIS may classify a region for BSE in one of two ways. One way is for countries that have not received a risk classification from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to request classification by APHIS. The other way is for APHIS to concur with the classification given to a country by the OIE.

To ensure BSE is not introduced into the United States, the regulations place specific conditions on the importation of animals and animal products. These requirements necessitate the use of several information collection activities, including, but not limited to, certifications, official identification, request for and retention of classification as negligible or controlled risk, declarations of importation, import and export certificates, applications, import and movement permits, agreements, certification statements, seals, notifications, and recordkeeping.

The information collection requirements above are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control numbers 0579-0393 (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Bovines and Bovine Products) and 0579-0234 (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Animals and Animal Products). After OMB approves this combined information collection package (0579-0393), APHIS will retire OMB control number 0579-0234. We have also updated the title of this information collection to “Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Animals and Animal Products.”

We are asking the 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 0.52 hours per response.

Respondents: Shippers, hunters, U.S. importers of regulated animal products, herd owners (including hobby farms), salaried veterinarians of foreign nations, foreign exporters of processed animal protein and other regulated materials and products, accredited veterinarians, and slaughter facility managers.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 2,225.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 238.

Estimated annual number of responses: 529,236.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 275,743 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 25th day of April 2017.

Michael C. Gregoire,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2017-08728 Filed 4-27-17; 8:45 am]

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