[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 91 (Thursday, May 12, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24935-24936]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-9444]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 91 / Thursday, May 12, 2005 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 24935]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Office of the Secretary

7 CFR Part 1

[Docket No. 04-102-1]


Rules of Practice for Certain Adjudicatory Proceedings Under the 
Animal Welfare Act Regulations

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the administrative regulations of the Office 
of the Secretary of Agriculture to provide that the rules of practice 
contained in those regulations shall be applicable to all adjudicatory 
proceedings under the license denial and termination provisions of the 
Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations. The AWA regulations provide that 
a person whose license application has been denied or whose license has 
been terminated may request a hearing in accordance with the applicable 
rules of practice for the purpose of showing why the application for 
license should not be denied or the license should not be terminated. 
This final rule is necessary to clarify the rules of practice that will 
apply to such hearings.

EFFECTIVE DATE: May 12, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Barbara Kohn, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, Animal Care, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 84, Riverdale, 
MD 20737-1234; (301) 734-7833.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) authorizes the 
Secretary of Agriculture to promulgate standards and other requirements 
governing the humane handling, housing, care, treatment, and 
transportation of certain animals by dealers, research facilities, 
exhibitors, carriers, and intermediate handlers. The Secretary of 
Agriculture has delegated the responsibility of enforcing the AWA to 
the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. 
The regulations established under the AWA are contained in title 9 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR), chapter I, subchapter A, parts 
1, 2, and 3. Part 2 (referred to below as the regulations) generally 
provides administrative requirements and sets forth institutional 
responsibilities of regulated persons under the AWA. These 
administrative requirements and institutional responsibilities include 
the requirements for the licensing and registration of dealers, 
exhibitors, and research facilities, and standards for veterinary care, 
identification of animals, and recordkeeping. The provisions pertaining 
to licensing are contained in ``Subpart A--Licensing,'' Sec. Sec.  2.1 
through 2.12.
    Under the regulations in Sec.  2.1(a)(1), any person operating or 
intending to operate as a dealer, exhibitor, or operator of an auction 
sale, except persons who are exempted from the licensing requirements 
under Sec.  2.1(a)(3) of the regulations, must have a valid license. 
The regulations in Sec.  2.11(a) provide that a license will not be 
issued to any applicant who:
     Has not complied with the requirements of Sec. Sec.  2.1, 
2.2, 2.3, and 2.4 and has not paid the fees indicated in Sec.  2.6;
     Is not in compliance with any of the regulations or 
standards in 9 CFR chapter I, subchapter A;
     Has had a license revoked or whose license is suspended, 
as set forth in Sec.  2.10;
     Has pled nolo contendere (no contest) or has been found to 
have violated any Federal, State, or local laws or regulations 
pertaining to animal cruelty within 1 year of application, or after 1 
year if the Administrator determines that the circumstances render the 
applicant unfit to be licensed;
     Is or would be operating in violation or circumvention of 
any Federal, State, or local laws; or
     Has made any false or fraudulent statements or provided 
any false or fraudulent records to the Department or other government 
agencies, or has pled nolo contendere (no contest) or has been found to 
have violated any Federal, State, or local laws or regulations 
pertaining to the transportation, ownership, neglect, or welfare of 
animals, or is otherwise unfit to be licensed and the Administrator 
determines that the issuance of a license would be contrary to the 
purposes of the AWA.
    Under paragraph (b) of Sec.  2.11, an applicant whose license 
application has been denied may request a hearing in accordance with 
the applicable rules of practice for the purpose of showing why the 
application for license should not be denied. The license denial shall 
remain in effect until the final legal decision has been rendered. 
Should the license denial be upheld, the applicant may again apply for 
a license 1 year from the date of the final order denying the 
application, unless the order provides otherwise.
    Similarly, Sec.  2.12 provides that a license may be terminated 
during the license renewal process or at any other time for any reason 
that an initial license application may be denied pursuant to Sec.  
2.11 after a hearing in accordance with the applicable rules of 
practice.
    Although Sec.  2.11(b) and Sec.  2.12 refer to ``the applicable 
rules of practice,'' the regulations do not specify which rules of 
practice actually apply. In order to clarify this point, we are 
amending the administrative regulations of the Office of the Secretary 
in 7 CFR part 1, subpart H, ``Rules of Practice Governing Formal 
Adjudicatory Proceedings Instituted by the Secretary Under Various 
Statutes'' (7 CFR 1.130 through 1.151). Specifically, we are amending 
Sec.  1.131, ``Scope and applicability of this subpart,'' to provide 
that the rules of practice contained in subpart H shall be applicable 
to all adjudicatory proceedings under the license denial and 
termination provisions of Sec. Sec.  2.11 and 2.12.
    This rule relates to internal agency management. Therefore, this 
rule is exempt from the provisions of Executive Orders 12866 and 12988. 
Moreover, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, notice of proposed rulemaking and 
opportunity for comment are not required for this rule, and it may be 
made effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal 
Register. In addition, under 5 U.S.C. 804, this rule is not subject to 
congressional review under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement

[[Page 24936]]

Fairness Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-121. Finally, this action is not a 
rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act, and thus is exempt from the provisions of that Act.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule contains no information collections or recordkeeping 
requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.).

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure, Agriculture, Antitrust, 
Blind, Claims, Concessions, Cooperatives, Equal access to justice, 
Federal buildings and facilities, Freedom of information, Lawyers, 
Privacy.

0
Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR part 1 as follows:

PART 1--ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart H--Rules of Practice Governing Formal Adjudicatory 
Proceedings Instituted by the Secretary Under Various Statutes

0
2. In Sec.  1.131, paragraph (b) is amended as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (b)(3), by removing the word ``and''.
0
b. By redesignating paragraph (b)(4) as paragraph (b)(5) and by adding 
a new paragraph (b)(4) to read as set forth below.


Sec.  1.131  Scope and applicability of this subpart.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (4) Adjudicatory proceedings under the regulations promulgated 
under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) for the denial of 
an initial license application (9 CFR 2.11) or the termination of a 
license during the license renewal process or at any other time (9 CFR 
2.12); and
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 5th day of May, 2005.
Mike Johanns,
Secretary of Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 05-9444 Filed 5-11-05; 8:45 am]
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