[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 180 (Tuesday, September 18, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 53101-53102]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-18315]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 180 / Tuesday, September 18, 2007 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 53101]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0108]


Add the Republic of Georgia to List of Regions Where African 
Swine Fever Exists

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations concerning the importation of 
animals and animal products by adding the Republic of Georgia to the 
list of regions where African swine fever exists. We are taking this 
action because outbreaks of African swine fever have been confirmed in 
various locations throughout Georgia. This action will restrict the 
importation of pork and pork products into the United States from 
Georgia and is necessary to prevent the introduction of African swine 
fever into the United States.

DATES: This interim rule is effective retroactively to June 5, 2007. We 
will consider all comments that we receive on or before November 19, 
2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov, select ``Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service'' from the agency drop-down menu, then click ``Submit.'' In the 
Docket ID column, select APHIS-2007-0108 to submit or view public 
comments and to view supporting and related materials available 
electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including 
instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing 
the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through 
the site's ``User Tips'' link.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies 
of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. APHIS-
2007-0108, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-
03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state 
that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0108.
    Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this 
docket in our reading room. The reading room 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) 690-2817 before coming.
    Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Javier Vargas, Animal Scientist, 
Regionalization Evaluation Services Staff, National Center for Import 
and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1231; (301) 734-0756.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the 
regulations) govern the importation of specified animals and animal 
products to prevent the introduction into the United States of various 
animal diseases, including rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, bovine 
spongiform encephalopathy, swine vesicular disease, classical swine 
fever, and African swine fever (ASF). These are dangerous and 
destructive communicable diseases of ruminants and swine.
    Section 94.8 of the regulations lists regions of the world where 
ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist and imposes restrictions 
on the importation of pork and pork products into the United States 
from those regions.
    On June 5, 2007, the Republic of Georgia reported to the World 
Organization for Animal Health (OIE) 11 outbreaks of ASF in various 
areas throughout the country. The source of the outbreak is unknown. 
Therefore, in order to prevent the introduction of ASF into the United 
States, we are amending the regulations by adding Georgia to the list 
of regions in Sec.  94.8 where ASF exists or is reasonably believed to 
exist. As a result of this action, the importation into the United 
States of pork or pork products from Georgia will be restricted. We are 
imposing this restriction retroactively to June 5, 2007, which is that 
the presence of ASF in Georgia was confirmed.

Emergency Action

    This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the 
introduction of ASF into the United States. Under these circumstances, 
the Administrator has determined that prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment are contrary to the public interest and that there is 
good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this rule effective less than 
30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
    We will consider comments we receive during the comment period for 
this interim rule (see DATES above). After the comment period closes, 
we will publish another document in the Federal Register. The document 
will include a discussion of any comments we receive and any amendments 
we are making to the rule.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This interim rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
For this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    This interim rule amends the regulations by adding the Republic of 
Georgia to the list of regions in which ASF exists. This action is 
necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the introduction of ASF into 
the United States.
    The rule will restrict the importation of pork and pork products 
from Georgia. Georgia is a net importer of swine and swine products. 
The country's exports of pork products represent less than 0.1 percent 
of the world export of these products. The United States, Canada, and 
Mexico did not import any pork or pork products from Georgia during the 
period of January 2006 through March 2007. Since no pork or pork 
products have been imported into the United States from Georgia during 
this time

[[Page 53102]]

period, it is unlikely that this interim rule will have any substantial 
effects on trade, or on large or small businesses.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and 
regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has retroactive 
effect to June 5, 2007; and (3) does not require administrative 
proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this 
rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 94

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Meat and meat products, Milk, 
Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

0
Accordingly, we are amending 9 CFR part 94 as follows:

PART 94--RINDERPEST, FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE, FOWL PEST (FOWL 
PLAGUE), EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE, AFRICAN SWINE FEVER, CLASSICAL 
SWINE FEVER, AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY: PROHIBITED AND 
RESTRICTED IMPORTATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 94 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, 7781-7786, and 8301-8317; 21 
U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.


Sec.  94.8  [Amended].

0
2. In Sec.  94.8, the introductory text is amended by adding the word 
``Georgia,'' after the word ``Cuba.''

    Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of September 2007.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-18315 Filed 9-17-07; 8:45 am]
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