[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 179 (Friday, September 16, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 54700-54701]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-18416]



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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Chapter I

RIN 1018-AJ24


Humane and Healthful Transport of Wild Mammals and Birds to the 
United States

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to update and amend the standards for the 
humane and healthful transport of wild mammals and birds to the United 
States. To determine how to proceed, we are asking the public for 
comments and input on whether the current regulations are up to date 
and adequate. We are also seeking comments for the best process to 
address necessary changes to the requirements in the Code of Federal 
Regulations that provide standards for the humane and healthful 
transport of wild mammals and birds to the United States. This will 
allow us to further meet our responsibilities under the Lacey Act 
Amendments of 1981 and our obligations under the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES). The current standards for transport of mammals and birds now 
available are in accordance with the accepted international 
requirements as described in the International Air Transport 
Association's (IATA) Live Animal Regulations (LAR) published in October 
1993 (20th edition). This edition is now 12 years old and several 
updates of the IATA Live Animal Regulations have been published since 
publication of that edition. Many mammals and birds are protected by 
CITES and it is a recommendation that all species listed under CITES be 
transported using the current IATA LAR. We expect that if we promulgate 
amendments to the standards for humane and healthful transport of wild 
mammals and birds to the United States, these amendments will be 
consistent with the most current IATA LAR at the time of the final 
rule, and, therefore, be current with the industry standards for 
ensuring the humane and healthful shipment of live mammals and birds. 
Finally, it has come to our attention that IATA LAR requirements may 
not always agree with those of the international ground transport 
industry, such as those of the Animal Transport Association (AATA). We 
are interested in public comments on this issue as well.

DATES: We will consider comments and information received by December 
15, 2005 in developing a proposed rule.

ADDRESSES: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management 
Authority, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 700, Arlington, Virginia 
22203. If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments by any one 
of several methods. You may mail comments to the above address or fax 
comments to 703-358-2298. You may also send comments via electronic 
mail to HUMANETRANSPORT@FWS.GOV. If you submit comments via e-mail, 
please be aware that we have been subject to periodic internet and e-
mail shutdowns. If you chose to e-mail your comments, please check our 
Web site at www.fws.gov first. If the website is not functional, any e-
mail you send may not reach us and you will need to fax or mail your 
comments to us. Finally, you may hand-deliver comments to the above 
address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Gaski, Chief, Branch of 
Operations, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service; telephone (703) 358-2095, fax (703) 358-2298.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Please submit Internet comments as an ASCII 
file, avoiding the use of special characters and any form of 
encryption. Please include ``Attn: [RIN number, 1018-AJ24]'' and your 
name and U.S. post office return mailing address in your Internet 
message and correspondence and categorize yourself as follows:
    1. International organization;
    2. Government;
    3. Non-government conservation organization;
    4. Humane or animal welfare organization;
    5. Wildlife/pet business;
    6. Other business;
    7. Private citizen.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their home address from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to 
the extent allowable by law. There also may be limited circumstances in 
which we would withhold from the rulemaking record a respondent's 
identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name 
and/or address, you must state this clearly at the beginning of your 
comments, but we will not consider anonymous comments. We generally 
make all submissions from organizations or businesses, or from 
individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of 
organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their 
entirety.
    We believe that there are several reasons why the current 
regulations that set standards for the humane and healthful 
transportation for wild mammals and birds to the United States should 
be amended.
    First, the current regulations provide specific guidelines to the 
shipping community on proper packing and transport techniques and 
requirements. These regulations allow us to determine when shippers are 
not transporting animals under humane or healthful conditions. While 
the current regulations provide some detail on shipping certain types 
of mammals, as well as general shipping guidelines, greater detail is 
required to address the specific needs of individual species. Amending 
and improving our current standards, which are based on the 1993 IATA 
LAR, will specify greater detail on proper packing and transport 
techniques and requirements, and will help us to continue to ensure 
that these animals are transported in a humane and healthful manner. 
Furthermore, the current regulations describe only general requirements 
regarding the shipment of birds, while the 31st edition of the IATA LAR 
is more specific for particular bird and mammal species.
    Second, the regulations need to be updated to make them consistent 
with the most recent edition of the IATA LAR. Many mammals and birds 
are protected under CITES. It is a requirement of CITES that all listed 
species must be packed and transported according to the IATA LAR 
guidelines. This includes all imports for all CITES-listed species. 
Humane transport of CITES-listed species is required by the text of 
CITES and explained in greater detail in Resolution Conf 10.21 
(Transport of Live Animals), which was adopted by the CITES Parties at 
the Tenth Conference of the Parties (COP), in Harare, Zimbabwe, June, 
1997. But although IATA LAR are cited and referred to in the current 
regulations, their reference is to the 20th edition of the IATA LAR. In 
the past 12 years new methods and materials have been developed to 
improve transportation of animals, and to reduce shipping mortality and 
simplify processes. The IATA LAR is updated every year, and CITES 
recommends that shippers and carriers follow the requirements in the 
current edition of the IATA LAR. We will likely base any proposed 
amended

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regulations on the 32nd or 33rd edition of the IATA LAR.
    Third, IATA lists and names species differently from the way CITES 
lists and names species in the Appendices to the Convention. This may 
cause confusion and misunderstanding; IATA uses a combination of common 
English and scientific names, but CITES sometimes uses only the 
scientific name. If we amend current regulations, we will use both the 
common and scientific name of species whenever possible, although we 
intend to use just the common name when referring to groups of animals, 
such as ``bears'' or ``parrots.'' This practice will make amended 
regulations similar to the 31st edition of the IATA LAR. In addition, 
many shippers transport CITES-listed and non-CITES-listed species on 
the same flights, and the IATA LAR refers to both CITES-listed and non-
CITES-listed species. Therefore, it is important to provide common 
names to assist those individuals who may not be familiar with 
scientific names, even though we recognize that common names can refer 
to different species of animals.
    Fourth, although the IATA LAR provide guidelines for air transport 
and can be used as guidelines for non-air transport (i.e. transport by 
road, rail, or sea), there are recommendations available from other 
sources (e.g. AATA) that specifically address the transport of species 
by road, rail or sea. Additionally, the CITES Parties are considering 
the addition of requirements specific for ground transportation of 
wildlife and we plan to propose amendments to our regulations based on 
those recommendations to standardize international ground shipping 
practices. Therefore, we are soliciting recommendations from the public 
and other interested parties regarding ground transportation 
recommendations for various types of animal groups.
    As a result, we plan to change the regulations in 50 CFR Part 14, 
subpart J, in several ways.
    First, we plan to propose to include more specific requirements 
such as number of animals per container, for the general transport of 
mammals and birds. In shipments where these numbers have been exceeded, 
our wildlife inspectors would have an objective and consistent method 
to determine whether the shipment was humane and healthful. The current 
regulations do not provide any detail in this regard. Also, while the 
current regulations specify that terminal facilities must have an 
effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites and pests 
of mammals and birds, we propose to include specific methods to be used 
by terminal facilities to control insect pests.
    Second, we plan to propose changes to 50 CFR Part 14, subpart J, by 
adding new sections and expanding existing regulations that enact 
requirements concerned with the transport of particular taxa of mammals 
and birds. Since these regulations were last published in 1992, several 
changes have been made in the IATA LAR specifying different shipping 
arrangements for various species of mammals and birds. We plan to 
propose changes based upon the 32nd or 33rd edition of the IATA LAR for 
the transport of mammals and birds. In the IATA LAR 20th edition, for 
example, several small carnivores (genets, olingos, grison, and 
falanouc) are included in the crate requirements for large gnawing 
rodents and marsupials. In the IATA LAR 31st edition, these same 
species have been included in the container requirements for animals 
more similar in behavior and form.
    Third, we plan to propose changing the language and format of the 
old regulations to clear and plain language with an easier to follow 
outline format.
    Finally, in order to be current with CITES transportation 
recommendations, we propose to add regulations specifically pertaining 
to international ground transportation of wildlife to the United 
States. The CITES Transport Working Group (TWG) is developing such 
guidelines and we will likely propose international ground 
transportation regulations that largely mirror those adopted by the 
CITES Parties. We also seek input on the spectrum of potential ground 
transport issues, particularly species or taxa-specific ones, and will 
consider that input during our revisions.
    Other changes to the regulations will be based on comments and 
suggestions that we receive from the public.

Author

    The author of this advance notice of proposed rulemaking is the 
staff of the Division of Management Authority (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section).

    Authority: The authority for this advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: August 19, 2005.
Marshall Jones,
Acting Director.
[FR Doc. 05-18416 Filed 9-13-05; 12:22 pm]
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