[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 101 (Friday, May 23, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 30002-30003]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-11659]



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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0124]


Availability of a Risk Analysis Evaluating the Foot-and-Mouth 
Disease Status of Surrey County, England

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that a risk analysis has been 
prepared by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service concerning 
the foot-and-mouth disease status of Surrey County, England, and the 
related disease risks associated with importing ruminants and swine and 
the fresh meat and other animal products of ruminants and swine from 
Surrey County, England. This evaluation will be used as a basis for 
determining whether to relieve certain restrictions on the importation 
of those articles into the United States from Surrey County, England. 
We are making this evaluation available to the public for review and 
comment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 
22, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=
DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0124 to submit or view comments and to view 
supporting and related materials available electronically.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send two copies of 
your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0124, 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-2007-0124.
    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: Dr. Chip Wells, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, Regionalization Evaluation Services Import Staff, 
National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 
38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4356.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the 
regulations) govern the importation of certain animals and animal 
products into the United States in order to prevent the introduction of 
various animal diseases, including rinderpest and foot-and-mouth 
disease (FMD). Section 94.1 of the regulations lists regions of the 
world that are considered free of rinderpest and FMD. Section 94.11 
lists regions of the world considered free of rinderpest and FMD but 
from which the importation of meat and other animal products into the 
United States is subject to additional restrictions because of those 
regions' proximity to or trading relationships with FMD-affected 
regions.
    In an interim rule \1\ effective and published in the Federal 
Register on January 30, 2008 (73 FR 5424-5426, Docket No. 2007-0124), 
we amended the regulations in Sec.  94.1 to remove Surrey County, 
England, from the list of regions that are considered free of 
rinderpest and FMD. We also amended the regulations in Sec.  94.11 to 
remove Surrey County, England, from the list of regions considered free 
of rinderpest and FMD but from which the importation of meat and other 
animal products of ruminants and swine into the United States is 
subject to additional restrictions. That action was necessary because, 
by September 30, 2007, a total of eight outbreaks of FMD in Surrey 
County, England, had been reported to the World Organization for Animal 
Health (OIE).
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    \1\ To view the interim rule and the comment we received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/
main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0124.
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    Epidemiological investigations and risk assessments conducted by 
the United Kingdom linked the source of the outbreaks in Surrey County 
with a probably accidental release of the FMD virus from a laboratory 
and vaccine production facility in Pirbright. Intensive surveillance 
demonstrated that the virus never spread outside of Surrey County. The 
United Kingdom and the European Commission removed all restrictions in 
Great Britain on December 31, 2007.
    Although we removed Surrey County, England, from the list of 
regions of the world considered free of rinderpest and FMD, and the 
list of regions considered free of rinderpest and FMD but from which 
the importation of meat and other animal products into the United 
States is subject to additional restrictions, we recognized that the 
United Kingdom immediately responded to the detection of the disease by 
imposing restrictions on the movement of ruminants and swine and the 
fresh meat and other animal products of ruminants and swine within and 
from England and initiating measures to eradicate the disease. We 
stated that, because of the United Kingdom's efforts to ensure that FMD 
does not spread beyond its borders, we intended to reassess the 
situation in accordance with the standards of the OIE at a future date, 
and that as part of the reassessment process, we would consider all 
comments received during the comment period on the interim rule.
    In this notice, we are announcing the availability for review and 
comment of a document titled ``APHIS Risk Analysis on Importation of 
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Virus from Surrey County, England, in the 
United Kingdom.'' This evaluation examines the events that occurred 
during and after the outbreaks and assesses the risk associated with 
the resumption of importation of ruminants and swine and the fresh meat 
and other animal products of ruminants and swine from Surrey County, 
England. This risk analysis will serve as a basis for our determination 
whether to continue to prohibit the importation of ruminants and swine 
and the fresh meat and other animal products of ruminants and swine 
from Surrey County, England. We are making the risk analysis available 
for public comment for 60 days.
    The risk analysis may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or 
in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room). You may request paper copies of the risk analysis by 
calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the analysis when requesting 
copies.

    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.


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    Done in Washington, DC, this 19th day of May 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E8-11659 Filed 5-22-08; 8:45 am]
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