[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 248 (Wednesday, December 24, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 78925-78927]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-30724]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0124]


Change in Disease Status of Surrey County, England, Because of 
Foot-and-Mouth Disease

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations governing the importation of 
certain animals, meat, and other animal products into the United States 
by restoring Surrey County, England, to the list of regions of the 
world that are considered free of rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease 
(FMD), and to the list of regions of the world considered free of 
rinderpest and FMD but subject to additional importation restrictions 
because of those regions' proximity to or trading relationships with 
FMD-affected regions. This final rule follows an interim rule that 
removed Surrey County, England, from those lists due to the detection 
of FMD in that region. Based on the results of a risk analysis 
concerning the FMD disease status of Surrey County, England, we have 
determined that Surrey County, England, can be added to the list of 
regions considered free of FMD. This rule relieves certain FMD-related 
prohibitions and restrictions on the importation of ruminants and swine 
and the fresh meat and other animal products of ruminants and swine 
into the United States from Surrey County, England.

DATES: Effective Date: January 8, 2009.

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). FMD is a severe and highly contagious viral infection 
affecting all cloven-hoofed animals, including cattle, deer, goats, 
sheep, swine, and other animals. 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 that the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has determined to be 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. APHIS-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). As a result of the interim

[[Page 78926]]

rule, the importation of ruminants and swine and the fresh meat and 
other animal products of ruminants and swine from Surrey County, 
England, was restricted.
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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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    Although we removed Surrey County, England, from the list of 
regions that are considered free of rinderpest and FMD we recognized 
that: (1) FMD was not known to exist in the United Kingdom outside of 
Surrey County, England; (2) the United Kingdom maintained strict 
control over the importation and movement of animals and animal 
products from regions of higher risk and established barriers to the 
spread of FMD from Surrey County, England; (3) the United Kingdom 
maintained a surveillance system capable of detecting FMD should the 
disease have been introduced into other regions of the country; and (4) 
the United Kingdom has the laws, policies, and infrastructure to 
detect, respond to, and eliminate any occurrence of FMD. We stated that 
we intended to reassess the situation in accordance with the standards 
of the OIE, and that as part of the reassessment process, we would 
consider all comments received regarding the interim rule.
    We solicited comments on the interim rule for 60 days ending March 
31, 2008. The only comment we received directed our attention to a 
press release from a governmental agency of the United Kingdom which 
announced that the OIE had restored the FMD-free status of the United 
Kingdom as of February 19, 2008.
    On May 23, 2008, we published a notice \2\ in the Federal Register 
(73 FR 30002-30003, Docket No. APHIS-2007-0124) in which we advised the 
public of the availability of a risk analysis that had been prepared by 
APHIS concerning the FMD 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. The risk analysis, entitled ``APHIS Risk 
Analysis on Importation of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Virus from 
Surrey County, England, in the United Kingdom,'' examined the events 
that occurred during and after the outbreaks and assessed the risk 
associated with the resumption of imports of ruminants and swine and 
the fresh meat and other animal products of ruminants and swine from 
Surrey County, England. In the risk analysis, APHIS concluded that the 
risk of introducing FMD into the United States as a result of the 
resumption of imports of ruminants and swine and the fresh meat and 
other animal products of ruminants and swine from Surrey County, 
England, is low.
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    \2\ To view the risk analysis document and the comments we 
received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/
main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0124.
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    We solicited comments concerning the risk analysis for 60 days 
ending July 22, 2008. We received three comments by that date. The 
comments were from private citizens who opposed relieving restrictions 
on Surrey County, England. None of the commenters offered any data or 
substantive information to support their objections, however.
    Therefore, based on the conclusions of our risk analysis and for 
the reasons given in this document, we are amending the regulations by 
restoring Surrey County, England, to the list of regions of the world 
that are considered free of rinderpest and FMD, and to the list of 
regions of the world considered free of rinderpest and FMD but subject 
to additional importation restrictions because of those regions' 
proximity to or trading relationships with FMD-affected regions.
    This final rule also affirms the information contained in the 
interim rule concerning Executive Orders 12866 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.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The following analysis addresses the economic effects of this rule 
on small entities, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    FMD is a contagious viral disease of ruminants, swine, and other 
cloven-hoofed animals. In August 2007, FMD was confirmed in Surrey 
County, England, and by the end of September 2007, a total of eight 
outbreaks had been reported to the World Organization for Animal Health 
(OIE). In an interim rule published January 30, 2008, APHIS amended the 
regulations by removing Surrey County from the list of regions in Sec.  
94.1 that are considered free of rinderpest and FMD, and from the list 
of regions in Sec.  94.11 that are 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.
    Since publication of the interim rule, the outbreaks have been 
eradicated and the United Kingdom has maintained the policies and 
infrastructure necessary to detect, respond to, and eliminate any 
recurrence of FMD. As a result, APHIS has concluded that the risk of 
introducing FMD into the United States with the resumption of 
importation from Surrey County of ruminants and swine and the fresh 
meat and other animal products of ruminants and swine is low.
    With this rule, U.S. entities will be able to import from Surrey 
County any ruminant or swine or any fresh (chilled or frozen) meat or 
other product of any ruminant or swine, subject to the restrictions in 
Sec.  94.11 and any regulatory restrictions that may apply concerning 
other animal diseases.

U.S. Imports of Affected Products From the United Kingdom \3\
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    \3\ Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 
as reported in the Global Trade Atlas.
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    For the 3 years 2005 to 2007, the United States imported 2.2, 1.4, 
and 1.5 million kilograms of fresh or frozen pork products from the 
United Kingdom. These imports were valued at $10.8, $7.3, and $7.3 
million, respectively. Over the same period, the United States imported 
6.2, 5.7, and 5.8 million kilograms of dairy products from the United 
Kingdom, valued at $37.7, $41.9, and $45.9 million, respectively. These 
annual quantities and values indicate that the prohibition on imports 
of ruminant and swine products from Surrey County, England, during the 
latter part of 2007 (following the FMD outbreak) did not appear to 
affect U.S. imports of pork or dairy products from the United Kingdom. 
Pork and pork products imported from the United Kingdom represent less 
than 2 percent of total U.S. pork and pork products imports, and the 
dairy product imports from the United Kingdom represent less than 3 
percent of total U.S. dairy product imports. Other ruminant and swine 
products imported by the United States from the United Kingdom include 
wool, wool grease, hides, bovine semen, fertilizers, and animal hair.
    Entities potentially affected by this final rule are importers and 
producers of animals and animal products. The majority of such 
enterprises are small entities, as defined by the Small Business 
Administration. For most categories of wholesale trade, the small-
entity standard is not more than 100 employees. For most categories of 
animal production, the small-entity standard is not more than $750,000 
in annual receipts.
    Most businesses that could be affected by this rule are small. 
However, we expect the effects will be insignificant. As indicated 
above, U.S. imports of swine and dairy products from the United Kingdom 
comprise a small share of total U.S. imports of these products.

[[Page 78927]]

Moreover, it is likely that Surrey County is the origin of only a 
negligible share of the United Kingdom's exports of ruminant and swine 
products to the United States, given the relatively small size of that 
county's ruminant and swine inventories. As reported by the United 
Kingdom's Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, only 0.6 
percent of England's cattle, 0.2 percent of its swine, 0.4 percent of 
its sheep, and 1.4 percent of its goats were located in Surrey County 
in June 2007.\4\
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    \4\ Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), 
UK. June 2007 Agricultural and Horticultural Survey--England. http:/
/www.defra.gov.uk/esg/work_htm/publications/cs/farmstats_web/2_
SURVEY_DATA_SEARCH/COMPLETE_DATASETS/PSM/RegCountUA_07.xls.
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    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.

Effective Date

    This is a substantive rule that relieves restrictions and, pursuant 
to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, may be made effective less than 30 
days after publication in the Federal Register. This rule restores 
Surrey County, England, to the list of regions of the world that are 
considered free of rinderpest and FMD, and to the list of regions of 
the world considered free of rinderpest and FMD but subject to 
additional importation restrictions because of those regions' proximity 
to or trading relationships with FMD-affected regions. We have 
determined that approximately 2 weeks are needed to ensure that APHIS 
and the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Customs and Border 
Protection, personnel at ports of entry receive official notice of this 
change in the regulations. Therefore, the Administrator of the Animal 
and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this rule 
should be effective 15 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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, the interim rule amending 9 CFR part 94 that was published 
at 73 FR 5424-5426 on January 30, 2008, is adopted as a final rule with 
the following changes:

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.  94.1  [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  94.1, paragraph (a)(2) is amended by removing the words 
``(except for Surrey County, England)''.


Sec.  94.11  [Amended]

0
3. In Sec.  94.11, paragraph (a) is amended by removing the words 
``(except for Surrey County, England)''.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 16th day of December 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E8-30724 Filed 12-23-08; 8:45 am]
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