[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 55 (Thursday, March 22, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13428-13429]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-5230]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 78

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0138]


Brucellosis in Cattle; State and Area Classifications; Wyoming

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim 
rule that amended the brucellosis regulations concerning the interstate 
movement of cattle by changing the classification of Wyoming from Class 
A to Class Free. We have determined that Wyoming meets the standards 
for Class Free status. This action relieves certain restrictions on the 
interstate movement of cattle from Wyoming.

DATES: Effective on March 22, 2007, we are adopting as a final rule the 
interim rule published at 71 FR 54402-54404 on September 15, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Debbi A. Donch, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, Ruminant Health Programs, National Center for Animal 
Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 
20737-1231; (301) 734-5952.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Brucellosis is a contagious disease affecting animals and humans, 
caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella.
    The brucellosis regulations, contained in 9 CFR part 78 (referred 
to below as the regulations), provide a system for classifying States 
or portions of States according to the rate of Brucella infection 
present and the general effectiveness of a brucellosis control and 
eradication program. The classifications are Class Free, Class A, Class 
B, and Class C. States or areas that do not meet the minimum standards 
for Class C are required to be placed under Federal quarantine.
    In an interim rule \1\ effective September 12, 2006, and published 
in the Federal Register on September 15, 2006 (71 FR 54402-54404, 
Docket No. APHIS-2006-0138), we amended the

[[Page 13429]]

regulations by changing the classification of the State of Wyoming from 
Class A to Class Free. That action relieved certain restrictions on the 
interstate movement of cattle from Wyoming.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view the interim rule and the comments we received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ``Advanced Search'' tab, 
and select ``Docket Search.'' In the Docket ID field, enter APHIS-
2006-0138, then click ``Submit.'' Clicking on the Docket ID link in 
the search results page will produce a list of all documents in the 
docket.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or 
before November 14, 2006. We received one comment by that date, from an 
industry group.
    The commenter supported our determination that Wyoming has met the 
requirements to be classified as a Class Free State. The commenter also 
raised separate points related to this change in classification, which 
we will address in this document.
    The interim rule stated that the last brucellosis-infected herd of 
cattle in Wyoming was depopulated in December 2004. The commenter 
stated that, because the requirements for Class Free classification 
state that all cattle herds in a Class Free State or area must remain 
free of field strain Brucella abortus for 12 consecutive months, 
Wyoming should have been upgraded to the Class Free classification much 
earlier than September 2006.
    In addition to satisfying the requirement for freedom in paragraph 
(b)(1) of the criteria for a Class Free State or area in Sec.  78.1, 
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) must determine 
that a State or area meets all the other requirements in those criteria 
prior to classifying a State or area as Class Free. This process can 
take some time, but it would not be appropriate to classify a State or 
area as Class Free until the process is completed.
    The commenter also referred to surveillance programs and risk 
mitigation measures that are in place to address the risk associated 
with reservoirs of brucellosis in wild animals in Sublette, Teton, 
Lincoln, Fremont, Hot Springs, and Park Counties in Wyoming. The 
commenter stated that APHIS required that this surveillance and risk 
mitigation be undertaken in order for Wyoming to be reclassified as a 
Class Free State. The commenter stated that the regulations and the 
Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301-8317) do not give APHIS the 
authority to impose such requirements in order to achieve Class Free 
status.
    The commenter inaccurately characterizes the origin of these 
surveillance programs and risk mitigation measures. APHIS' review of 
the Wyoming brucellosis program recommended that surveillance programs 
and risk mitigation measures be established to address the risk of 
infection transmitted from wild animals. We also recommended that the 
State of Wyoming develop a memorandum of understanding with APHIS to 
implement these programs and measures. The State of Wyoming recognized 
the risk associated with the reservoirs of brucellosis that exist in 
wild animals in parts of that State and took action in cooperation with 
APHIS.
    We based our decision to reclassify Wyoming as a Class Free State 
for brucellosis on the State's compliance with the requirements in the 
regulations regarding Class Free status.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule without 
change.
    This action also affirms the information contained in the interim 
rule concerning Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act, Executive Orders 12372 and 12988, and the Paperwork Reduction Act.
    Further, for this action, the Office of Management and Budget has 
waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 78

    Animal diseases, Bison, Cattle, Hogs, Quarantine, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

PART 78--BRUCELLOSIS

0
Accordingly, we are adopting as a final rule, without change, the 
interim rule that amended 9 CFR part 78 and that was published at 71 FR 
54402-54404 on September 15, 2006.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 16th day of March 2007.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-5230 Filed 3-21-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P