[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 12 (Wednesday, January 21, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3608-3609]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-1029]


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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Rescission of February 4, 2004, Order and Subsequent Amendments 
Prohibiting the Importation of Birds and Bird Products From Specified 
Countries

AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of 
Health and Human Services (HHS).

ACTION: Notice with comment period.

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SUMMARY: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing its intent 
to rescind its February 4, 2004 order and subsequent amendments 
prohibiting the importation of birds and bird products from specified 
countries based on the threat that imports from such countries 
increases the risk that highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 may be 
introduced into the United States. After consideration of public 
comment, CDC will publish a final notice regarding these prohibitions. 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) has implemented and continues to enforce 
regulations to prohibit or restrict the importation of birds, poultry, 
and unprocessed birds and poultry products from regions that have 
reported the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in 
poultry. See 9 CFR 93.101, 93.201, 94.6, & 95.30. While USDA/APHIS 
actions are based primarily on protecting the U.S.

[[Page 3609]]

commercial poultry industry from the introduction of highly pathogenic 
avian influenza H5N1, these actions have the added benefit of 
mitigating the risk of human exposure to the virus. Because the USDA/
APHIS import restrictions adequately address risks to human health, 
HHS/CDC is announcing the intent to lift its embargo against imports of 
birds and unprocessed bird products from those same countries and 
solicits comments on this proposal. All of the bird embargoes that are 
currently in force under USDA regulations will remain in force. HHS/CDC 
will work closely with USDA/APHIS to monitor the international 
situation regarding HPAI H5N1 outbreaks and will take additional action 
if it identifies human health risks that are not adequately contained 
by USDA regulatory actions.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before February 20, 
2009. Comments received after January 21, 2009 will be considered to 
the extent possible.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments to the following address: 
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 
Attn: Rescission Notice, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., MS E-03, Atlanta, 
Georgia 30333.
    You may submit written comments electronically via the Internet at 
the following Address: http://regulations.gov, or via e-mail to 
DGMQpubliccomments@cdc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stacy M. Howard, Division of Global 
Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., 
MS E-03, Atlanta, Georgia 30333; telephone 404-498-1600.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On February 4, 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
(CDC) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued an 
order to ban immediately the import of all birds (Class: Aves) from 
specified countries, subject to limited exemptions for returning pet 
birds of U.S. origin and certain processed bird-derived products. HHS/
CDC took this step because birds from these countries can potentially 
infect humans with avian influenza (influenza A/[H5N1]). Countries 
affected by the February 4, 2004, order included Cambodia, Indonesia, 
Japan, Laos, People's Republic of China (including Hong Kong Special 
Administrative Region [SAR]), South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. This 
order was further amended on March 10, 2004, to lift the embargo of 
birds and bird products from the Hong Kong SAR because of the 
documented control of the outbreak there and the absence of highly 
pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 cases in Hong Kong's domestic bird 
populations. Following the documentation of highly pathogenic avian 
influenza H5N1 in commercial birds in additional countries, HHS/CDC 
issued amendments to the February 4, 2004, order that added these 
countries to its embargo: Malaysia on September 28, 2004; Kazakhstan, 
Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine on December 29, 2005; Nigeria on 
February 8, 2006; India on February 22, 2006; Egypt on February 27, 
2006; Niger on March 2, 2006; Albania, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, and Burma 
(Myanmar) on March 15, 2006; Israel on March 20, 2006; Afghanistan on 
March 21, 2006; Jordan on March 29, 2006; Burkina Faso on April 10, 
2006; Pakistan on April 10, 2006; Gaza, the West Bank, and the Ivory 
Coast (C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire) on April 28, 2006; Sudan on May 16, 2006; 
Djibouti on June 2, 2006; and Kuwait on February 28, 2007.
    The HHS/CDC February 4, 2004, order and subsequent amendments have 
complemented simultaneous actions taken by the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA). USDA/APHIS amended its regulations to prohibit or restrict the 
importation of birds, poultry, and unprocessed birds and poultry 
products from regions that have reported the presence of highly 
pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in poultry. See 9 CFR 93.101, 93.201, 
94.6, & 95.30. As the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization 
and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) have confirmed 
additional cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in 
commercial birds, USDA/APHIS has added additional countries and regions 
to its ban.
    HHS/CDC believes that the actions taken to date by USDA/APHIS 
adequately mitigate the human health risks associated with birds and 
unprocessed bird products imported from the countries of concern, and 
that the HHS/CDC order of February 4, 2004, and subsequent amendments 
are no longer needed. HHS/CDC announces its intent to lift its embargo 
of birds and unprocessed bird products from specified countries to 
ensure a more coordinated federal response to the control of highly 
pathogenic avian influenza H5N1.

    Dated: January 9, 2009.
Julie Louise Gerberding,
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[FR Doc. E9-1029 Filed 1-16-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4163-18-P