[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 1 (Friday, January 2, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 1]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-31208]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 1 / Friday, January 2, 2009 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 1]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 71, 83, and 93

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0038]
RIN 0579-AC74


Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia; Interstate Movement and Import 
Restrictions on Certain Live Fish

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule; delay of effective date.

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SUMMARY: On September 9, 2008, we published an interim rule in the 
Federal Register to restrict the interstate movement and importation 
into the United States of live fish that are susceptible to viral 
hemorrhagic septicemia, a highly contagious disease of certain 
freshwater and saltwater fish. That interim rule was scheduled to 
become effective on November 10, 2008. Subsequently, on October 28, 
2008, we published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the 
delay of the effective date of the interim rule until January 9, 2009. 
We are now delaying the effective date of the interim rule indefinitely 
to provide APHIS with time to make some adjustments to the interim rule 
that are necessary for the rule to be successfully implemented.

DATES: The effective date for the interim rule amending 9 CFR parts 71, 
83, and 93, published at 73 FR 52173-52189 on September 9, 2008, is 
delayed indefinitely.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. P. Gary Egrie, Senior Staff 
Veterinary Medical Officer, National Center for Animal Health Programs, 
VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 46, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 
734-0695; or Dr. Peter L. Merrill, Senior Staff Veterinarian, National 
Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 39, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8364.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) is a highly contagious disease 
of certain freshwater and saltwater fish, caused by a rhabdovirus. It 
is listed as a notifiable disease by the World Organization for Animal 
Health. The pathogen produces variable clinical signs in fish including 
lethargy, skin darkening, exophthalmia, pale gills, a distended 
abdomen, and external and internal hemorrhaging. The development of the 
disease in infected fish can result in substantial mortality. Other 
infected fish may not show any clinical signs or die, but may be 
lifelong carriers and shed the virus.
    On September 9, 2008, we published an interim rule in the Federal 
Register (73 FR 52173-52189, Docket No. APHIS-2007-0038) to amend 9 CFR 
parts 71, 83, and 93 by establishing regulations to restrict the 
interstate movement and the importation into the United States of 
certain live fish species that are susceptible to VHS. We announced 
that the provisions of the interim rule would become effective November 
10, 2008, and that we would consider all comments on the interim rule 
received on or before November 10, 2008, and all comments on the 
environmental assessment for the interim rule received on or before 
October 9, 2008.

Delay of Effective Date

    After the publication of the interim rule, we received comments 
that addressed a variety of issues, including the feasibility of 
implementing certain requirements.
    Based on our review of those comments, on October 28, 2008, we 
published a document in the Federal Register (73 FR 63867, Docket No. 
APHIS-2007-0038) announcing that we were delaying the effective date of 
the interim rule from November 10, 2008, until January 9, 2009, while 
retaining November 10, 2008 as the close of the comment period for the 
interim rule and October 9, 2008 as the close of the comment period for 
the environmental assessment.
    We are now delaying the effective date of the interim rule 
indefinitely to provide APHIS with time to make some adjustments to the 
interim rule that are necessary for the rule to be successfully 
implemented.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1622 and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 
31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of December 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E8-31208 Filed 12-31-08; 8:45 am]
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