[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 213 (Monday, November 3, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65255-65257]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-26140]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. APHIS-2008-0107]


Addition of Russia and Azerbaijan to the List of Regions Where 
African Swine Fever Exists

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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

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

DATES: This interim rule is effective November 3, 2008. However, we are 
imposing these restrictions retroactively to November 19, 2007, for 
Russia, and to January 28, 2008, for Azerbaijan. We will consider all 
comments that we receive on or before January 2, 2009.

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-2008-0107 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-2008-0107, 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-2008-0107.
    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

[[Page 65256]]

rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, 
swine vesicular disease, classical swine fever, and African swine fever 
(ASF). These are dangerous and destructive 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.
    In December 2007, Russia reported an outbreak of ASF to the World 
Organization for Animal Health (OIE). ASF was detected on November 5, 
2007, and Russia's Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAF) confirmed the 
outbreak on November 19, 2007. The MAF has reported a total of 19 
outbreaks after the initial detection and believes the source of the 
infection to be transboundary migration of wild boars in the area.
    Azerbaijan reported an outbreak of ASF in Qebele, in the north-
central part of the country. According to Azerbaijan's report to the 
OIE, the outbreak started on January 22, 2008, and was confirmed by 
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Agriculture January 28, 2008.
    Therefore, in order to prevent the introduction of ASF into the 
United States, we are amending the regulations by adding Russia and 
Azerbaijan 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 and pork products from 
Russia and Azerbaijan will be restricted. We are imposing these 
restrictions retroactively to November 19, 2007, for Russia, and to 
January 28, 2008, for Azerbaijan, which are the dates that the presence 
of ASF in Russia and Azerbaijan 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 Russia and 
Azerbaijan 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.
    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed 
the potential economic effects of this action on small entities.
    The U.S. swine industry plays an important role in the U.S. 
economy. Cash receipts from marketing meat animals were about $14.8 
billion in 2007, and averaged $14.6 billion between 2004 and 2007.\1\ 
U.S. pork production increased from 7,764,000 metric tons (MT) in 1996 
to 9,962,000 MT in 2007, an annual growth rate of about 2.4 percent. 
Similarly, consumption increased from 7,619,000 MT to 8,964,000 MT. 
During the same period, U.S. pork exports increased from 440,000 MT to 
1,424,000 MT, by far outpacing imports. Net exports increased from 
159,000 MT to 985,000 MT.\2\ Swine and related product exports 
generated over $2.1 billion in sales in 2007. Other agricultural and 
nonagricultural sectors are dependent on the swine industry for their 
economic activity. Maintaining and expanding U.S. export markets 
depends in part on preventing transmission of foreign diseases to U.S. 
swine.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ USDA/Economic Research Services (ERS), Farm Income Costs: 
Farm Sector Income Forecast, http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/
farmincome/data/cr_t3.htm.
    \2\ USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Product Supply & 
Demand (PS&D) Online, 1996-2007, http://www.fas.usda.gov/dlp/
circular//2008/livestock_poultry_04-2008.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Russia's swine inventory and pork production can be characterized 
as ranging from moderate to large. For the years 2002-2007, the number 
of swine in Russia averaged about 17 million,\3\ while pork production 
averaged 1,752,000 MT. Russia was a net importer of pork and pork 
products during this period, with annual consumption exceeding 
production by an average of about 771,000 MT.\4\ Azerbaijan has a much 
smaller swine inventory and produces much less pork than Russia. For 
the years 2002-2006, it had average swine stock of fewer than 19,500 
head and produced only 1,520 MT of pork. Azerbaijan is a net importer 
of pork and pork products. Neither Russia nor Azerbaijan has a history 
of exporting swine, pork, or pork products to the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ http://faostat.fao.org.
    \4\ USDA/FAS, Production, Supply, and Demand (PS&D) Online, 
1996-2007, http://www.fas.usda.gov/dlp/circular//2008/livestock_
poultry_04-2008.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size 
standards for determining whether firms are considered small under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. Under SBA standards, meat processing 
establishments (North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] 
311612) with no more than 500 employees and meat and meat product 
wholesalers (NAICS 424470) with no more than 100 employees are 
considered small. In 2002, there were 1,335 companies in the United 
States that processed and sold meat. More than 97 percent of these 
establishments are considered to be small entities and had average 
sales of $15.4 million, while large meat processors had average sales 
of $188 million. In 2002, there were 2,535 meat and meat product 
wholesalers in the United States. Of these establishments, 2,456 (97 
percent) employed not more than 100 employees and are thus considered 
small by SBA standards. Small meat wholesalers had average sales of 
$9.3 million, while large meat wholesalers had average sales of $131 
million.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 Economic Census: Manufacturing--
Industries Series, Wholesale Trade--Subject Series and 
Transportation and Warehousing--Subject Series, issued August 2006; 
and SBA, Small Business Size Standards matched to North American 
Industry Classification System 2002, effective July 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The majority of U.S. swine and pork producers (NAICS 112210) are 
also small entities.\6\ According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, 
that year there were 82,028 hog and pig operations with sales of about 
185 million hogs and pigs valued at $12.4 billion. These facilities are 
considered to be small if their annual receipts are not more than 
$750,000. Over 83 percent (68,083) of these operations are considered 
to be small, with sales of fewer than 2,000 hogs and pigs. Small 
operations had a total inventory of 16.3 million (9 percent of all 
swine) and an average inventory of 237 hogs, while large operations had 
a total inventory of 168.7 million (91 percent of all swine) and an 
average inventory of 12,714 hogs. Based on inventory shares in 2002, 
small operations had annual sales of $1.1 billion and an average income 
of about $19,400, while large operations had

[[Page 65257]]

sales of $11.3 billion with an average income of about $834,000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ SBA, Small Business Size Standards matched to North American 
Industry Classification System 2002, effective July 2006 (http://
www.sba.gov/size/sizetable2002.html).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    No impact is expected as a result of this rule, based on the fact 
that there is no history of U.S. imports of swine or swine products 
from Russia or Azerbaijan. Adding Russia and Azerbaijan to the list of 
regions in which ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist will 
have no effect on U.S. producers or consumers.
    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 November 19, 2007, and January 28, 2008; 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 
``Azerbaijan,'' after the word ``Armenia,'' and by adding the word 
``Russia,'' after the word ``Mauritius,''.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 28th day of October 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E8-26140 Filed 10-31-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P