[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 1 (Friday, January 2, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1-6]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-31212]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 93

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0095]
RIN 0579-AC63


Importation of Cattle From Mexico; Addition of Port at San Luis, 
AZ

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations regarding the importation of 
cattle from Mexico by adding San Luis, AZ, as a port through which 
cattle that have been infested with fever ticks or exposed to fever 
ticks or tick-borne diseases may be imported into the United States. A 
new facility for the handling of animals is to be constructed on the 
Mexican side of the border at the port of San Luis, AZ, that will be 
equipped with facilities necessary for the proper chute inspection, 
dipping, and testing that are required for such cattle under the 
regulations. We are also amending the regulations to remove provisions 
that limit the admission of cattle that have been infested with fever 
ticks or exposed to fever ticks or tick-borne diseases to the State of 
Texas. The statutory requirement that limited the admission of those 
cattle to the State of Texas has been repealed. These changes will make 
an additional port of entry available and relieve restrictions on the 
movement of imported Mexican cattle within the United States.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective January 2, 2009 except 
for the amendment (amendatory instruction 3)

[[Page 2]]

to Sec.  93.427(b)(2) introductory text, for which the effective date 
is delayed indefinitely. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
will publish a document announcing an effective date for that provision 
in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Betzaida Lopez, 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

    The regulations in 9 CFR part 93 prohibit or restrict the 
importation of certain animals, birds, and poultry into the United 
States to prevent the introduction of communicable diseases of 
livestock and poultry. Subpart D of part 93 (Sec. Sec.  93.400 through 
93.436, referred to below as the regulations) governs the importation 
of ruminants; within subpart D, Sec. Sec.  93.424 through 94.429 
specifically address the importation of various ruminants from Mexico 
into the United States.
    In Sec.  93.426, paragraph (a) states that all ruminants offered 
for entry into the United States from Mexico must be inspected at the 
port of entry and found to be free from communicable diseases and fever 
tick infestation and to not have been exposed to communicable diseases 
and fever tick infestation. Ruminants found to be affected with or to 
have been exposed to a communicable disease, or infested with fever 
ticks, are to be refused entry except as provided in Sec.  
93.427(b)(2).
    Under Sec.  93.427(b)(2), cattle that have been exposed to 
splenetic, southern, or tick fever, or that have been infested with or 
exposed to fever ticks, may be imported from Mexico for admission into 
the State of Texas, except that portion of the State quarantined 
because of fever ticks, either at one of the land border ports in Texas 
listed in Sec.  93.403(c) of the regulations, or at the port of Santa 
Teresa, NM, provided that certain conditions are met. Those conditions 
are spelled out in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) through (b)(2)(v) of Sec.  
93.427.
    On January 9, 2008, we published in the Federal Register (73 FR 
5132-5135, Docket No. APHIS-2007-0095) a proposal \1\ to amend the 
regulations by adding San Luis, AZ, as a port through which cattle that 
have been infested with fever ticks or exposed to fever ticks or tick-
borne diseases may be imported into the United States. A new facility 
for the handling of animals is to be constructed on the Mexican side of 
the border at the port of San Luis, AZ, that will be equipped with 
facilities necessary for the chute inspection, dipping, and testing 
that are required for such cattle under the regulations. We also 
proposed to amend the regulations to remove provisions that limit the 
admission of cattle that have been infested with fever ticks or exposed 
to fever ticks or tick-borne diseases to the State of Texas. The 
statutory requirement that limited the admission of those cattle to the 
State of Texas has been repealed. These changes were intended to make 
an additional port of entry available and relieve restrictions on the 
movement of imported Mexican cattle within the United States.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule, supporting documents, and the 
comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/
component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0095.
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    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
March 31, 2008. We received 52 comments by that date. They were from 
private citizens, industry groups, and State agriculture organizations.
    Thirty-eight commenters supported the proposed rule. Fourteen 
commenters expressed concerns regarding the proposed rule. The issues 
they raised are discussed below.
    One commenter objected to allowing cattle infested with fever ticks 
to be imported into the United States.
    The regulations currently allow cattle that have been exposed to 
splenetic, southern, or tick fever, or that have been infested with or 
exposed to fever ticks, to be imported into the United States; we 
proposed to allow their importation through the port of San Luis. 
However, the animals would have to meet the requirements in the 
regulations for inspection, dipping, and certification of freedom from 
ticks before entering the United States.
    Many commenters expressed concern that the opening of the new port 
at San Luis may cause an increase in the number of Mexican cattle 
imported into the United States annually, particularly because it would 
reduce the cost to ship for some entities. The commenters also stated 
that this increase could cause financial harm to cattle ranchers in the 
United States or damage the international reputation of the U.S. cattle 
industry. Several commenters expressed concern with the risk 
assessment, stating that its conclusion that the rule would not 
increase risk was based on a faulty assumption that the new port would 
not lead to an increase in the volume of cattle exports from Mexico.
    In response to these comments, we have prepared an addendum to the 
risk assessment,\2\ which gives additional details regarding the 
reasons we do not expect this rule to increase the number of Mexican 
cattle imported into the United States. As the addendum states, 
increases or decreases in Mexican cattle import volumes are due to a 
number of factors, most importantly weather, the financial situation of 
Mexican cattle farmers, and the price of feeder cattle in the 
southwestern United States. In addition, although imports have 
increased over time, the total export market for Mexican cattle is not 
expected to increase in the future because the demand for domestic beef 
within Mexico continues to increase. Mexican beef calf exports are 
almost all destined for the United States already. Therefore, it is 
unlikely that Mexican cattle producers will have a large number of 
additional cattle available for export to the United States.
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    \2\ See footnote 1 for the address to view the risk assessment 
and the addendum to the risk assessment.
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    In addition, even if the export market were to increase, we would 
not expect large numbers of cattle to enter the United States through 
San Luis. Currently, the majority of Mexican cattle (about 80 percent) 
are destined for New Mexico or Texas ports, with only a small 
percentage (about 15 percent) going to ports in more westerly States, 
including Arizona and California. This is because the mountainous 
terrain and lack of well-developed roads running east to west within 
Mexico make it difficult for cattle from eastern States of Mexico, 
where the majority of cattle are produced, to utilize ports in more 
westerly States within the U.S. If these trends continue, we would 
expect the bulk of the increase in Mexican cattle imports to continue 
to enter through New Mexico and Texas ports based on proximity, cost, 
and convenience of travel. The Mexican States that are closest to the 
San Luis port and that would, therefore, be most likely to use the San 
Luis port are: Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Nayarit, 
Sinaloa, and Sonora. Because these five Mexican States account for only 
about 14 percent of Mexican cattle production, even if they were to 
increase their cattle exports, it is unlikely that there will be a 
significant increase in the number of Mexican cattle exported to the 
United States as a result of our opening the port of San Luis to cattle 
that have been exposed to splenetic, southern, or tick fever, or that 
have been infested with or exposed to fever ticks.
    One commenter asked what impact the proposed rule would have on the 
price of cattle and beef.

[[Page 3]]

    Since the amount of cattle entering the United States from Mexico 
is not expected to increase significantly as a result of this final 
rule, cattle prices should not be greatly affected. However, some 
importers who have been importing Mexican cattle into the United States 
through ports in Texas and New Mexico may save some shipping costs by 
switching to the port in San Luis. To the extent that these savings on 
shipping costs are passed on by brokers, consumers could see lower 
prices.
    Several commenters expressed concern that allowing cattle to be 
imported through the port at San Luis would result in more Mexican 
cattle moving to areas in the United States conducive to tick 
establishment.
    We expect most of the cattle that will be imported through the port 
at San Luis will be cattle that otherwise would have been imported 
through Texas or New Mexico ports, and not cattle that would otherwise 
not have been imported. Because brokers importing cattle from Mexico 
usually supply cattle to the same entities they have previously dealt 
with, we do not expect the U.S. destination of Mexican cattle to change 
as a result of this rule. As stated in the addendum to the risk 
assessment, cattle imported through the port at San Luis will most 
likely be bound for California or other areas of Arizona where non-
exposed cattle and cattle not previously infested with fever ticks and 
found to be eligible for importation have historically gone. Although 
there are areas within Southern California that may be conducive to 
fever tick establishment, fever ticks within the United States have 
been confined to certain quarantined areas in Texas since 1943 despite 
continual importation of Mexican cattle into the United States.
    As stated previously, even if cattle infested with fever ticks are 
presented for importation, they would have to meet the requirements in 
the regulations for inspection, dipping, and certification of freedom 
from ticks of any type before entering the United States. Although 
dipping cattle with acaricide is not considered 100 percent effective 
against ticks, these measures are the same requirements for cattle 
entering at other ports. Therefore, opening the port at San Luis to 
Mexican cattle that have been infested with fever ticks or exposed to 
fever or tick-borne diseases does not present an additional risk of 
introduction and spread of fever ticks or introduction and spread of 
tick fever.
    Several commenters expressed concern that the area around the 
proposed San Luis port may also be conducive to tick establishment if 
cattle remain in the area.
    As stated in the risk assessment, the area surrounding the port of 
San Luis is not suitable for the establishment of fever ticks. This is 
because precipitation levels in the area around the port are too low to 
support the establishment of fever ticks. While moisture from the 
Colorado River and from private wells in the area may create micro-
habitats that could increase the chance of survival for fever ticks, 
cattle imported through the port at San Luis are not likely to remain 
near the port. Finally, even if tick-infested cattle were imported and 
did remain near the port at San Luis, they, along with all other cattle 
imported through the port, would have been inspected, dipped, and 
certified as free from ticks of any type before entering the United 
States. As stated previously, although not 100 percent effective 
against ticks, these are the same requirements for cattle entering at 
other ports. Therefore, there is no additional risk of introduction and 
spread of fever ticks or introduction and spread of tick fever.
    Two commenters stated that tick fever outbreaks have occurred in 
areas of the United States and Europe above the 36[deg] N line of 
latitude, which contradicts the findings in the risk assessment. One of 
these commenters asked that the risk assessment be revised to address 
this issue.
    There has never been an outbreak of fever ticks or tick fever 
within the United States above the 36[deg] N line of latitude that has 
been conclusively linked to cattle imported from Mexico. As mentioned 
in the risk assessment, the environment above the 36[deg] N line of 
latitude is not conducive for the establishment of fever ticks, even in 
the case that some ticks might make it across the border. This is 
because fever ticks thrive in tropical and subtropical climates; at 
temperatures below 20 [deg]C, the reproductive ability of female ticks 
appears to be impaired.
    As noted by the commenter, tick fever outbreaks have been reported 
in areas of Europe above the 36[deg] N line of latitude (i.e., Finland, 
the Netherlands, Romania, and Slovenia); however those outbreaks were 
due to species of Babesia (Babesia divergens and B. jakimovi) that are 
transmitted via a different, non-Boophilus species of tick (Ixodes 
ricinus) capable of thriving in more northern climates. Neither these 
Babesia species nor this tick species are indigenous to the United 
States, although similar tick species such as I. (dammini) scapularis 
and I. pacificus are present that feed on deer and mice, and are 
capable of spreading another species of Babesia, B. microti. However, 
unlike with other Babesia species that cause tick fever, humans and not 
cattle are the intermediate hosts for B. microti.
    One commenter expressed concern that the restriction limiting the 
importation of cattle that have been infested with fever ticks or 
exposed to fever ticks or tick-borne diseases to the State of Texas was 
lifted without allowing for public comment.
    As stated in the proposed rule, the passage of the North American 
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation Act removed the statutory 
provisions that limited the importation of cattle only into the State 
of Texas. Following the passage of the NAFTA Implementation Act, our 
permitting procedures were modified to allow cattle that had been 
infested with or exposed to fever ticks to be moved from Mexico into 
States other than Texas under the conditions described in Sec.  
93.427(b)(2). However, we did not make a corresponding change in the 
regulations to reflect the statutory amendment. We sought to rectify 
this error in this rulemaking, which also allowed the public the 
opportunity to comment on the removal of the restriction.
    Several commenters expressed concern regarding acaricide-resistant 
ticks present in Mexico. One commenter suggested that we require Mexico 
to standardize their tick treatment protocol for exported cattle 
according to the recommendations of the Binational Tick Committee, 
which requires a 400 ppm Amitraz immersion.
    Although there is a concern about acaricide-resistant ticks in 
Mexico, the resistance has proven to be due to the inappropriate use of 
acaricides. The Mexican Government has developed a pesticide resistance 
management program to minimize the development and spread of resistant 
tick populations. We expect that these changes will ensure that 
acaricides continue to be an effective treatment for cattle imported 
into the United States. Cattle from Mexico are currently being treated 
with at least a 400 ppm Amitraz treatment before entering the United 
States.
    Several commenters stated that the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication 
Program must be fully funded and implemented.
    We will continue to seek full funding of our tick eradication 
program and, in the event of a fever tick outbreak, will take 
appropriate action to eliminate the outbreak.
    One commenter asked if more information was available about the 
economic effects of the proposed rule on small businesses. Another 
commenter stated that a cost-benefit analysis should

[[Page 4]]

be conducted before the proposed rule is finalized. One commenter 
stated that our estimate of the costs of eradicating ticks from 
infested herds is inadequate because it is based on 2005 data and 
because it did not include the costs of replacing animals lost to tick 
fever.
    The initial regulatory flexibility analysis in the proposed rule 
provided all the information that was available to us regarding the 
potential economic effects of the proposed rule on small businesses. 
The cost data in the regulatory flexibility analysis was based on the 
most current data available at the time of drafting. Although some of 
this data might be from 2005, this does not impact the regulatory 
flexibility analysis. Despite the costs, we will continue to use all 
the resources at our disposal to prevent the introduction and dispersal 
of tick fever into the United States. Moreover, we note that there has 
never been an outbreak of tick fever in the United States that was 
conclusively linked to Mexican-origin cattle.
    One commenter expressed concern that the United States could 
experience lost export markets because it does not follow World 
Organization of Animal Health (OIE) guidelines with regard to tick 
fever. In particular, the commenter mentioned the OIE guidelines 
recommending that a country limit its imports to animals that have 
resided since birth in a zone recognized as free from tick fever or to 
animals that have tested negative for tick fever in the preceding 
month, and that have been treated with an acaricide prior to shipment.
    In order for bovine babesiosis to persist in cattle populations in 
the United States, three factors must simultaneously exist: Agent, 
host, and environment. In the absence of all three elements, it is 
still possible for disease to be detected occasionally, but difficult 
for the infection to persist in a population. Fever ticks are currently 
confined to quarantined areas within Texas and movement restrictions 
are in place to prevent the movement of cattle from Mexico into the 
quarantined areas. As stated in the risk assessment, in the absence of 
vector ticks, tick-borne diseases cannot be spread and, therefore, will 
gradually disappear from an infected herd. Therefore, even if an animal 
was a carrier of tick fever, because there are no vectors to transmit 
the disease within the United States outside of the quarantined areas 
and because there are restrictions in place to prevent the movement of 
Mexican cattle into or through tick quarantine areas, it is unlikely 
that tick fever would be introduced and spread within the United 
States. We are not aware of having lost any export markets due to not 
complying with OIE guidelines. Moreover, we do not believe it is 
necessary to limit U.S. cattle imports to animals that have resided 
since birth in a zone recognized as free from tick fever or to those 
cattle that have tested negative for tick fever prior to importation.
    Several commenters stated that the prohibition on the movement of 
tick-infested cattle into the area of Texas quarantined for cattle tick 
fever must be maintained.
    We agree with the commenter, as we are continuing eradication 
efforts in that area of Texas. Therefore, this rule continues the 
prohibition on the movement from Mexico of tick-infested cattle or 
cattle that have been exposed to fever ticks or tick-borne diseases 
into the quarantined areas of Texas.
    Several commenters stated that APHIS should work closely with 
Mexico to ensure that new cattle-handling facilities, including the 
port at San Luis, AZ, are properly managed, equipped, and funded to 
prevent the spread of cattle fever ticks into the United States and 
that port staff are adequately trained. One commenter stated that all 
port staff should be full-time and that APHIS should conduct regular 
reviews of procedures at the port at San Luis, AZ.
    All ports on the Mexican border are staffed by APHIS as well as 
employees of the Mexican Government, and APHIS guidelines are in place 
to ensure consistency and close coordination between the two groups. In 
addition, APHIS has standard operating procedures in place that detail 
proper tick inspection procedures. All ports are staffed with full-time 
employees, and port facility reviews are conducted on a regular basis 
to make sure the facilities themselves and the procedures they employ 
are adequate to prevent the introduction of cattle fever ticks into the 
United States. The San Luis port, like all other ports that handle 
Mexican cattle, will undergo an inspection and approval process prior 
to being opened for trade.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, without 
change.

Effective Dates

    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.
    Immediate removal of the provision in Sec.  93.427(b) that limited 
the admission of certain Mexican-origin cattle to parts of Texas will 
make our regulations consistent with the NAFTA Implementation Act and 
with our permitting procedures, which were modified following the 
passage of the NAFTA implementation Act.
    However, we are delaying, indefinitely, the effective date of the 
addition of San Luis, AZ, to the list in Sec.  93.427(b) of ports 
through which cattle that have been infested with fever ticks or 
exposed to fever ticks or tick-borne diseases may be imported from 
Mexico, pending construction of new facilities and APHIS inspection of 
those facilities to confirm that they are properly equipped to allow 
for the necessary chute inspection, dipping, and testing of cattle.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. The 
rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of 
Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604, we have performed a final 
regulatory flexibility analysis, which is set out below, regarding the 
economic effects of this rule on small entities.
    For the purpose of this analysis, and following Small Business 
Administration (SBA) guidelines, the potentially affected entities are 
classified as Beef Cattle Ranching and Farming (North American Industry 
Classification System 112111). By SBA standards, farms in this category 
are considered small if annual receipts are not more than $750,000. 
According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, of the 664,431 beef cattle 
farms, 659,009, or 99 percent, had annual receipts of less than 
$500,000 and are therefore considered small. Cattle imported into the 
United States from Mexico are generally purchased by stocker operations 
before they are shipped to feedlots. While there is no economic 
information available on the number, size, or distribution of the 
stocker operations, it is reasonable to assume they are small given 
that 99 percent of beef cattle ranches and farms in general are small 
entities.
    From 2000 to 2006, an average of 45,258 cattle per year entered 
through the port of San Luis, Arizona.\3\ Historically, 80 percent of 
U.S. cattle imports from Mexico have gone to Texas and New Mexico. 
Between 2003 and 2008, over 6.5 million cattle entered the United 
States from Mexico at various

[[Page 5]]

ports. The ports with the largest volume of cattle imports between 1994 
and 2003 were Santa Teresa/El Paso (26.64 percent), Presidio (18.12 
percent), and Nogales (14.24 percent). Only 5.95 percent of U.S. cattle 
imports from Mexico came through San Luis.\4\ To date, the San Luis 
port has only received 8,000 head of cattle in 2008. As mentioned in 
the addendum to the risk assessment, San Luis' western location makes 
it inconvenient, and therefore unlikely, that there will be a major 
shift in cattle movements from existing ports in Texas and New Mexico.
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    \3\ Source: Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health Import 
Tracking System.
    \4\ Source: Live cattle imports by Port of Entry from Mexico 
into the United States: Data and Models, New Mexico State 
University, August 2005.
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    Any positive effects of the rule for small entities in the San Luis 
area, such as increased volumes of business for firms that transport 
cattle, are expected to be largely matched by business declines for 
firms operating from the Texas and New Mexico ports. Cattle importers 
who find it advantageous to use the San Luis port will be positively 
affected. There may also be positive effects at the Texas and New 
Mexico ports if the diversion of imports to San Luis of cattle that 
have been infested with fever ticks or exposed to fever ticks or tick-
borne diseases reduces operational delays when the demand for imports 
is beyond the capacity of those border facilities; however, APHIS has 
no information on whether such periods of insufficient capacity have 
occurred, and if so, how frequently.
    The final rule will increase the number of cattle operations 
allowed to receive cattle from Mexico that have been infested with 
fever ticks or exposed to fever ticks or tick-borne diseases. A larger 
number of more widely distributed U.S. entities will be afforded the 
opportunity to benefit from importing these cattle. Establishment of 
San Luis, AZ, as a port of entry for cattle from Mexico that have been 
infested with fever ticks or exposed to fever ticks or tick-borne 
diseases will also make these cattle more readily accessible for 
entities to the west of Texas; transport costs from the port of entry 
will be lower because the cattle will be moved over shorter distances.
    The Mexican Government has requested that a land-border port be 
established on the Mexico-Arizona border to move cattle that have been 
infested with fever ticks or exposed to fever ticks or tick-borne 
diseases from Mexico to the United States. APHIS has determined that 
with the construction of new facilities at the port of San Luis, this 
request can be satisfied given that the new port will be equipped to 
handle cattle that have been infested with fever ticks or exposed to 
fever ticks or tick-borne diseases. The potential impacts for affected 
U.S. cattle operations, most of which are small entities, are expected 
to be positive. This rule does not contain any new reporting, 
recordkeeping, or compliance requirements. There are no significant 
alternatives to the rule that will accomplish the stated objectives.

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws 
and regulations that are in conflict with this rule; (2) has no 
retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings 
before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no new 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 93

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Poultry and poultry products, 
Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.


0
Accordingly, we are amending 9 CFR part 93 as follows:

PART 93--IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH AND POULTRY, 
AND CERTAIN ANIMAL, BIRD, AND POULTRY PRODUCTS; REQUIREMENTS FOR 
MEANS OF CONVEYANCE AND SHIPPING CONTAINERS

0
1. The authority citation for part 93 continues to read as follows:

    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.


0
2. Section 93.427 is amended, effective January 2, 2009 by revising 
paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  93.427  Cattle from Mexico.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) Cattle that have been exposed to splenetic, southern, or tick 
fever, or that have been infested with or exposed to fever ticks, may 
be imported from Mexico for admission into the United States, except 
into areas of Texas quarantined because of said disease or tick 
infestation as specified in Sec.  72.5 of this chapter, either at one 
of the land border ports in Texas listed in Sec.  93.403(c) or at the 
port of Santa Teresa, NM, provided that the following conditions are 
strictly observed and complied with:
    (i) The cattle shall be accompanied by a certificate issued in 
accordance with Sec.  93.405(a), and showing that the veterinarian 
issuing the certificate has inspected the cattle and found them free 
from fever ticks and any evidence of communicable disease, and that, as 
far as it has been possible to determine, they have not been exposed to 
any such disease, except splenetic, southern, or tick fever, during the 
60 days immediately preceding their movement to the port of entry.
    (ii) The cattle shall be shown by a certificate issued in 
accordance with Sec.  93.405(a) to have been dipped in a tickicidal dip 
within 7 to 12 days before being offered for entry.
    (iii) The importer, or his or her duly authorized agent, shall 
first execute and deliver to an inspector at the port of entry an 
application for inspection and supervised dipping wherein he or she 
shall agree to waive all claims against the United States for any loss 
or damage to the cattle occasioned by or resulting from dipping, or 
resulting from the fact that they are later found to be still tick 
infested; and also for all subsequent loss or damage to any other 
cattle in the possession or control of such importer which may come 
into contact with the cattle so dipped.
    (iv) The cattle when offered for entry shall receive a chute 
inspection by an inspector. If found free from ticks they shall be 
given one dipping in one of the permitted dips listed in Sec.  72.13(b) 
of this chapter under the supervision of an inspector 7 to 14 days 
after the dipping required by paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section. The 
selection of the permitted dip to be used will be made by the port 
veterinarian in each case. If found to be infested with fever ticks, 
the entire lot of cattle shall be rejected and will not be again 
inspected for entry until 10 to 14 days after they have again been 
dipped in the manner provided by paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section.
    (v) The conditions at the port of entry shall be such that the 
subsequent movement of the cattle can be made without exposure to fever 
ticks.
* * * * *

0
3. Section 93.427 is further amended, with an effective date pending 
further notice, by revising paragraph (b)(2) introductory text to read 
as follows:


Sec.  93.427  Cattle from Mexico.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) Cattle that have been exposed to splenetic, southern, or tick 
fever, or that

[[Page 6]]

have been infested with or exposed to fever ticks, may be imported from 
Mexico for admission into the United States, except into areas of Texas 
quarantined because of said disease or tick infestation as specified in 
Sec.  72.5 of this chapter, either at one of the land border ports in 
Texas listed in Sec.  93.403(c) or at the port of Santa Teresa, NM, 
provided that the following conditions are strictly observed and 
complied with:
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of December 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E8-31212 Filed 12-31-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P