[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 140 (Thursday, July 20, 2000)]
[Notices]
[Page 45018]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-18367]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. 00-072-1]


Declaration of Extraordinary Emergency Because of an Atypical 
Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (Prion Disease) of Foreign 
Origin

    A transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) (prion disease) of 
foreign origin has been detected in the United States. It is different 
from TSE's previously diagnosed in the United States. The TSE was 
detected in the progeny of imported sheep. The imported sheep and their 
progeny are under quarantine in Vermont.
    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are degenerative fatal 
diseases that can affect livestock. TSE's are caused by similar, as yet 
uncharacterized, agents that usually produce spongiform changes in the 
brain.
    Post-mortem analysis has indicated positive results for an atypical 
TSE of foreign origin in four sheep in Vermont. Because of the 
potentially serious consequences of allowing the disease to spread to 
other livestock in the United States, it is necessary to seize and 
dispose of those flocks of sheep in Vermont that are affected with or 
exposed to the disease, and their germ plasm.
    The existence of the atypical TSE of foreign origin represents a 
threat to U.S. livestock. It constitutes a real danger to the national 
economy and a potential serious burden on interstate and foreign 
commerce. The Department has reviewed the measures being taken by 
Vermont to quarantine and regulate the flocks in question and has 
consulted with appropriate officials in the State of Vermont. Based on 
such review and consultation, the Department has determined that 
Vermont does not have the funds to compensate flock owners for the 
seizure and disposal of flocks affected with or exposed to the disease, 
and their germ plasm. Without such funds, it will be unlikely to 
achieve expeditious disposal of the flocks and germ plasm. Therefore, 
the Department has determined that an extraordinary emergency exists 
because of the existence of the atypical TSE in Vermont.
    This declaration of extraordinary emergency authorizes the 
Secretary to seize, quarantine, and dispose of, in such manner as he 
deems necessary, any animals that he finds are affected with or exposed 
to the disease in question, and their germ plasm, and otherwise to 
carry out the provisions and purposes of the Act of July 2, 1962 (21 
U.S.C. 134-134h). The State of Vermont has been informed of these 
facts.

    Dated: This declaration of extraordinary emergency shall become 
effective July 14, 2000.
Dan Glickman,
Secretary of Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 00-18367 Filed 7-19-00; 8:45 am]
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