[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 239 (Tuesday, December 15, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66222-66227]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-29798]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 95

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0113]
RIN 0579-AC11


Importation of Swine Hides and Skins, Bird Trophies, and Ruminant 
Hides and Skins

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 
animal byproducts to require that untanned swine hides and skins from 
regions with African swine fever and bird trophies from regions with 
exotic Newcastle disease meet certain requirements or go directly to an 
approved establishment upon importation into the United States. We are 
also setting out certain requirements for the importation of untanned 
bovine, deer, and other ruminant hides and skins into the United States 
from Mexico to prevent the spread of bovine babesiosis. These 
requirements will provide for the importation of these articles under 
conditions intended to prevent the introduction of African swine fever, 
bovine babesiosis, and exotic Newcastle disease.

DATES: Effective Date: January 14, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Tracye Butler, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, Technical Trade Services, National Center for Import and 
Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 39, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; 
(301) 734-7476.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in 9 CFR parts 93, 94, 95, and 96 (referred to 
below as the regulations) govern the importation of certain animals, 
birds, poultry, meat, other animal products and byproducts, hay, and 
straw into the United States in order to prevent the introduction of 
various animal diseases, including rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease 
(FMD), African swine fever (ASF), and exotic Newcastle disease (END). 
The regulations in Sec.  95.5 set out requirements for the entry of 
untanned hides and skins. Section 95.6 sets out restrictions for those 
hides or skins that do not meet the requirements for entry in Sec.  
95.5.
    On August 4, 2006, we published in the Federal Register (71 FR 
44234-44239, Docket No. APHIS- 2006-0113) a proposal\1\ to provide 
specific conditions under which untanned swine hides and skins from 
regions not considered free of ASF and bovine, deer and other ruminant 
hides and skins from Mexico could be imported into the United States in 
order to protect the U.S. livestock populations from incursions of ASF 
and bovine babesiosis. We also proposed to restrict the importation of 
bird trophies in order to protect U.S. bird populations against the 
introduction of END. For greater clarity, we also proposed to 
reorganize the provisions of Sec.  95.5.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule and the comments we received, go 
to (http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2006-0113).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
October 3, 2006. We received three comments by that date. They were 
from a representative of a consortium of scientific societies, a 
representative of a foreign government, and a private citizen. They are 
discussed below.
    One commenter suggested that we prohibit all imports mentioned in 
this proposed rule, because, according to the commenter, neither our 
treatment and certification requirements nor our inspections are 
rigorous enough to prevent the introduction of disease.
    The commenter did not provide specific information indicating how 
the proposed requirements or our inspection procedures were 
insufficient to prevent the introduction of ASF, bovine babesiosis, and 
END into the United States. Our existing requirements and inspection 
procedures have been effective in preventing the introduction of 
rinderpest and FMD, and we believe that the requirements of this rule 
will be effective in preventing the introduction of ASF, bovine 
babesiosis, and END into the United States.
    One commenter pointed out an inconsistency between our explanation 
of the proposed regulations in the preamble of the proposed rule and 
the proposed regulatory text.
    We proposed to revise Sec.  95.5 by redesignating paragraphs (a) 
through (e), which contain general provisions to allow the importation 
of ruminant hides and skins, as paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5). To 
address the specific risk of infestation with ticks carrying bovine 
babesiosis, we proposed to allow the importation of ruminant hides and 
skins from Mexico under proposed paragraph (b)(1) if they are hard 
dried in accordance with proposed paragraph (a)(2); have been pickled 
in a solution of salt containing mineral acid which has a pH of less 
than or equal to 5 and placed in containers while wet in accordance 
with proposed paragraph (a)(4); have been treated with lime so as to 
have become dehaired and ready for preparation into rawhide products in 
accordance with proposed paragraph (a)(5); have been frozen solid for 
24 hours; are certified to be free of ticks; or were taken from cattle 
subjected to a tickicidal dip prior to slaughter.
    However, as the commenter correctly noted, the proposed regulatory 
text in paragraph (b)(1) incorrectly referred to subjecting ruminant 
hides or skins from Mexico to one of the treatments listed in proposed 
Sec.  95.5(a)(2), (a)(3), or (a)(4); paragraph (a)(3) contains a 
certification process that does not address the risk associated with 
ticks. Accordingly, the regulatory text in Sec.  95.5(b)(1) in this 
final rule refers to the treatments in paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(4), and 
(a)(5) of Sec.  95.5.
    We proposed to add paragraph (c) in Sec.  95.5 to provide for the 
importation of bird trophies from END-free regions. Under this 
paragraph, bird trophies from END-free regions may be imported without 
further restriction if they are accompanied by a certificate of origin 
issued by the national government of the region of export.
    One commenter suggested two changes to the manner in which the 
proposed rule addressed bird trophies.
    The commenter's first suggested change was to add a definition of 
``bird trophy'' to the regulations in order to distinguish between bird 
carcasses or skins imported for ornamental or decorative display and 
those bird carcasses or skins imported for the purpose of research or 
display in a museum or educational institution. The commenter stated 
that adding such a definition to the regulations would help port 
inspectors to distinguish a bird trophy from research material.
    We agree that defining ``bird trophy'' may make distinguishing a 
bird trophy from material of avian origin intended

[[Page 66223]]

for research easier for all members of the public. Therefore, we are 
adding to the list of definitions in Sec.  95.1 a definition of bird 
trophy. We define a bird trophy as ``a carcass or part of a carcass of 
a wild bird taken as game during a hunting expedition for the purpose 
of processing into taxidermy mounts for personal exhibition.''
    Although a bird trophy may be a carcass or part of a carcass, 
similar in appearance to material of avian origin intended for 
research, the additional requirements under our definition distinguish 
a bird trophy from other avian material: It must be a wild bird taken 
as game, obtained in a hunting expedition, or imported for the specific 
purpose of being processed through taxidermy methods for personal use.
    Additionally, we believe that any confusion regarding the purpose 
of importation of avian material at the port of entry would be resolved 
by examining the accompanying permit or certificate. Such documentation 
would necessarily indicate the purpose and destination of the article.
    We proposed to amend the introductory paragraph of Sec.  95.5 to 
state that bird trophies may be imported into the United States without 
restriction if they meet the requirements of that section; if the bird 
trophies are imported from regions where END exists and thus do not 
meet the requirements of Sec.  95.5, we proposed to require that they 
be handled at an approved establishment as set forth in Sec.  95.6.
    The commenter's second suggested change to the proposed rule was to 
clarify that these requirements in part 95 are distinct from the 
requirements in 9 CFR part 94 that apply to the importation of 
carcasses and the parts or products of carcasses of poultry, game 
birds, or other birds from regions where END is considered to exist. 
The commenter acknowledged that with the assistance of APHIS, importers 
of avian material for research or educational purposes are aware of the 
differing requirements and that no confusion by these importers or 
inspectors at the port of entry exists. However, she was concerned that 
some entities may believe that the more stringent requirements 
regarding research material from END and highly pathogenic avian 
influenza (HPAI) subtype H5N1 regions might be applied to the bird 
trophies covered by this rule.
    Because we are defining ``bird trophy'' to further distinguish bird 
trophies from avian material intended for research purposes, we believe 
the distinction between materials of avian origin for research or 
educational purposes and bird trophies is sufficiently clear in the 
regulations. As the commenter noted, no confusion currently exists. We 
have made concerned importers familiar with our requirements through 
frequent communication and by providing specific guidance and advice, 
and we will continue to offer such assistance and technical information 
in the future.
    We are making additional changes to the proposed regulations in 
this final rule.
    The current heading of Sec.  95.5 contains the phrase 
``Requirements for unrestricted entry'' in addressing the articles to 
which the section refers. As Sec.  95.5 does in fact require various 
conditions for the importation of untanned hides and skins and bird 
trophies, this heading as written is not clear and could create 
confusion. Therefore, for greater clarity and to ensure compliance with 
the regulations, we are removing the word ``unrestricted'' from the 
heading.
    Similarly, the introductory language to Sec.  95.5 contains the 
phrase ``without restriction'' in its discussion of those regulations 
contained in the section. As noted above, Sec.  95.5 does require 
various conditions for the importation of untanned hides and skins and 
bird trophies. Therefore, for greater clarity and transparency, we are 
amending the introductory text of Sec.  95.5 to state that untanned 
hides and skins and bird trophies may be imported into the United 
States if they meet the requirements of the section or if they are 
handled at an approved establishment as set forth in Sec.  95.6. The 
importation of bird trophies, however, is also subject to the 
restrictions of Sec.  95.30, as discussed below.
    To address the specific risk of ruminant hides and skins from 
Mexico being infested with ticks carrying bovine babesiosis, we 
proposed to allow the importation of these hides and skins under 
proposed paragraph (b) of Sec.  95.5. This paragraph contains several 
possible treatment options, all of which we have determined to be 
effective at eliminating ticks that could spread bovine babesiosis.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2) of Sec.  95.5 would have allowed the 
importation of ruminant hides and skins from Mexico without further 
restriction if they have been frozen solid for 24 hours and are 
accompanied by a written statement from the owner attesting to that 
fact. To provide additional assurance that the freezing requirement has 
been met, we are changing proposed paragraph (b)(2) to require that an 
inspector, as defined in Sec.  95.1, inspect the hides or skins to 
ensure they are frozen and verify, by a review of the available 
documentation provided by the shipper or importer attesting to the 
fact, that the hides or skins have been frozen solid for 24 hours. In 
addition, in order to provide maximum protection for the U.S. ruminant 
population, we are changing proposed paragraph (b)(2) to add a 
requirement that frozen hides and skins presented for importation under 
paragraph (b)(2) of the regulations also be free of ticks.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(4) would have allowed ruminant hides and 
skins from Mexico to be imported if they were taken from cattle that 
were subjected to a tickicidal dip at a Mexican export facility 7 to 12 
days prior to slaughter. In order to make clear which dips are approved 
for use, we have changed proposed paragraph (b)(4) to indicate that the 
ruminant hides and skins must be dipped in one of the permitted dips 
listed in Sec.  72.13(b). This is consistent with our regulations in 
Sec.  93.427 governing the importation of live cattle from Mexico for 
purposes other than immediate slaughter. In order to provide 
flexibility without incurring greater disease risk, we are also 
removing the requirement in proposed paragraph (b)(4) that the required 
tickicidal dip must take place at a Mexican export facility. Although 
the dip may be conducted at a Mexican export facility, it can be 
conducted successfully at any type of facility in Mexico, as long as 
the permitted dips listed in Sec.  72.13(b) are used. In addition, in 
order to provide maximum protection for the U.S. ruminant population, 
we are changing proposed paragraph (b)(4) to add a requirement that 
hides and skins presented for importation under paragraph (b)(4) of the 
regulations also be free of ticks.
    As noted above, the introductory paragraph of Sec.  95.5 provides 
that any untanned hides or skins or bird trophies that do not meet the 
requirements of that section must be handled at an approved 
establishment as set forth in Sec.  95.6. Section 95.6 addresses the 
importation of hides and skins which do not meet the conditions or 
requirements of Sec.  95.5 by requiring, among other things, that such 
hides and skins be consigned to an approved establishment.
    In the proposed rule, we neglected to include changes to Sec.  95.6 
to reflect the proposed changes in Sec.  95.5. In this final rule, we 
are adding the words ``bird trophies'' to the title of Sec.  95.6 and 
in the appropriate places throughout the text to indicate that the 
section applies to bird trophies. We are also adding END and ASF to the 
list of diseases in paragraph (c) whose dissemination the regulations 
are designed to prevent. We

[[Page 66224]]

are taking this action to clarify the applicability of Sec.  95.6 to 
the importation of bird trophies and untanned hides and skins.
    The proposed introductory text of Sec.  95.5 stated that bird 
trophies may be imported into the United States without restriction if 
they meet the requirements of that section. However, other requirements 
in part 95 also apply to bird trophies; specifically, Sec.  95.30 
requires bird trophies from areas where HPAI subtype H5N1 exists to be 
imported with a permit. To ensure that all relevant requirements are 
taken into account, the introductory text of Sec.  95.5 in this final 
rule indicates that bird trophies must meet both the requirements of 
Sec.  95.5 and be eligible for importation under Sec.  95.30.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, with the 
changes discussed in this document.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This 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.
    This rule amends the regulations in Sec.  95.5 governing the 
requirements for importation of untanned hides and skins and adds 
import requirements for bird trophies. We are now requiring that 
untanned swine hides and skins from regions with ASF and bird trophies 
from regions with END meet the requirements of Sec.  95.5 or go 
directly to an approved establishment upon importation into the United 
States and be subject to the requirements under Sec.  95.6 of the 
regulations. We are also requiring that deer and other ruminant hides 
and skins imported into the United States from Mexico be subjected to 
one of several possible treatments that we view as effective in killing 
ticks that could transmit bovine babesiosis.
    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed 
the potential economic effects of this action on small entities.
    We anticipate this rule will produce economic benefits by 
preventing the introduction of ASF, END, and bovine babesiosis, which 
could negatively affect the ability of the U.S. swine, poultry, and 
ruminant industries to export their products to international markets. 
The economic effects of END have been demonstrated by the recent 2002 
and 2003 outbreak of the disease in the Western United States. END was 
diagnosed in both backyard poultry flocks and in commercial poultry in 
California, Nevada, Arizona, and Texas. Over the course of the 
outbreak, more than 18,000 premises were quarantined, and more than 3 
million birds were depopulated. The eradication efforts cost taxpayers 
in excess of $180 million. In addition, over 30 international 
governments placed varying levels of import restrictions on poultry and 
poultry products from the United States as a result of this outbreak. 
These restrictions consisted primarily of bans on poultry and poultry 
products from the affected areas of the United States, resulting in 
approximately $121 million of direct total value of exports affected by 
these restrictions. Incursions of ASF and bovine babesiosis could cause 
similar serious economic damage to the U.S. swine and cattle 
industries. These three livestock industries were valued at more than 
$72 billion in 2000. Specifically, the U.S. cattle industry was valued 
at $67.1 billion, the swine industry at $4.3 billion, and the poultry 
industry at $1.2 billion (Agricultural Statistics, 2001).
    U.S. imports of untanned swine hides and skins from ASF-affected 
regions are relatively meager (see table 1 below). The average value of 
such imports in 2000 and 2001, all of which came from sub-Saharan 
Africa, was $4,500, while the average value of all U.S. imports of 
untanned swine hides and skins during the same period was $980,500. 
There were no U.S. imports of untanned swine hides and skins from ASF-
affected regions in 2002 and 2003. We can conclude, then, that the 
amount of untanned swine hides and skins coming from ASF-affected 
countries into the United States is insignificant and that the 
requirement that these hides and skins be consigned to an approved 
establishment is not likely to have a significant economic effect on 
U.S. importers of such hides and skins.

                       Table 1.-Value of U.S. imports of untanned swine hides and skins\1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Region                  2000               2001                  2002                    2003
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sub-Saharan Africa          $3,000            $6,000              0                      0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
World                       1,292,000         669,000             $1,401,000             $868,000
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\1\ Fresh or salted untanned swine-hides - (Harmonized Schedule (HS) 4103900060). Import HS-10 Digit-U.S.
  International Trade Commission Commodities in Detail.
Source: Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), U.S. Trade Internet System, Imports, Foreign Agriculture Trade of
  United States (FATUS) Web site: (http://www.fas.usda.gov/ustrade).

    U.S. imports of untanned deer hides and skins from Mexico have also 
been limited. As shown in table 2, the value of U.S. imports of 
untanned deer hides and skins from Mexico in 2001 was $2,000, 
accounting for approximately 0.33 percent of the U.S. total for that 
year. There were no untanned deer hides and skins imported from Mexico 
in 2000, 2002, and 2003. The average value of total U.S. imports of 
untanned deer hides and skins in 2000 and 2001 was $700,000, and none 
were imported in 2002 or 2003. Since Mexico's share of this market has 
been so small, we can conclude that this rule is not likely to have a 
significant economic effect on U.S. importers of untanned deer hides 
and skins.

                       Table 2.-Value of U.S. imports of untanned deer hides and skins\1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Region                 2000                   2001                   2002                    2003
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mexico              0                      $2,000                 0                      0
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World               $805,000               604,000                0                      0
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\1\ Fresh or dried or salted, but not tanned deer skins - (HS 4103900030). Import HS-10 Digit-USITC Commodities
  in Detail.
Source: FAS, U.S. Trade Internet System, Imports, FATUS. Web site: (http://www.fas.usda.gov/ustrade).


[[Page 66225]]

    Other ruminant hides and skins that are currently being imported 
into the United States from Mexico and that will be subject to 
provisions of this rule include those of bovines, sheep or lambs, and 
chamoises. The latest available data on the value of U.S. imports from 
Mexico of such hides and skins and the percentages of Mexico's market 
share for the years 1997 through 2001 are presented in tables 3 through 
6.

                                           Table 3.-Value of U.S. imports of untanned bovine hides, whole, raw
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       Region                 1997                  1998                  1999                  2000                  2001             5-year average
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Mexico                $10,000               0                     $1,000                0                     $177,000              3.12%
                      (0.5%)                                      (0.1%)                                      (15%)
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World                 1,964,000             $667,000              962,000               $1,135,000            1,217,000             ....................
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Source: United Nations (http://untrade.fas.usda.gov/untrade).


                                             Table 4.-Value of U.S. imports of NES \1\ untanned bovine skins
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       Region                 1997                  1998                  1999                  2000                  2001             5-year average
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Mexico                $142,000              $704,000              $372,000              $63,000               $59,000               2.3%
                      (0.8%)                (5%)                  (4%)                  (0.8%)                (0.9%)
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World                 17,733,000            14,974,000            10,123,000            8,319,000             6,768,000             ....................
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\1\ Not elsewhere specified.
Source: United Nations (http://untrade.fas.usda.gov/untrade).


                                        Table 5.-Value of U.S. imports of sheep or lamb skins, raw, with wool on
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       Region                 1997                  1998                  1999                  2000                  2001             5-year average
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Mexico                $486,000              $59,000               0                     $13,000               0                     6.4%
                      (23%)                 (3.2%)                                      (5.8%)
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World                 2,116,000             1,828,000             $256,000              226,000               $764,000              ....................
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Source: United Nations (http://untrade.fas.usda.gov/untrade).


                                                Table 6.-Value of U.S. imports of untanned chamois hides
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       Region                 1997                  1998                  1999                  2000                  2001             5-year average
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Mexico                $3,753,000            $4,358,000            $4,907,000            $5,588,000            $6,156,000            35.2%
                      (27%)                 (29%)                 (34%)                 (38%)                 (48%)
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World                 13,711,000            15,150,000            14,483,000            14,849,000            12,969,000            ....................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: United Nations (http://untrade.fas.usda.gov/untrade).

    As the tables illustrate, with the exception of chamois hides 
(table 6), imports from Mexico account for a relatively small 
proportion of the total U.S. imports of these commodities. Over the 5-
year period, an average of 3.12 percent of the untanned whole bovine 
hides, 2.3 percent of the NES untanned bovine skins, and 6.4 percent of 
the untanned sheep and lamb skins that were imported into the United 
States came from Mexico. Mexican chamois hides, however, did account 
for a significantly larger proportion of total imports, averaging 35.2 
percent. Still, given the relatively small amounts of most of these 
commodities that Mexico provides and the fact that the procedures 
specified in this rule are already being required for entry of ruminant 
hides and skins into the United States in most cases, it appears 
unlikely that this rule will have a significant effect on any U.S. 
importers of untanned ruminant hides or skins from Mexico.
    The United States Fish and Wildlife Service grants permits to 
individuals for the importation of bird trophies but does not require a 
separate permit for each trophy, whether imported as a finished product 
or as skin, bones, and feathers, and does not collect data on the 
number of mounts prepared by each permit holder. Therefore, reliable 
data on imported bird trophies from END-free regions are not available.

Economic Impact on Small Entities

    Agencies are required to analyze the impacts of their regulations 
on small businesses and to use flexibility to provide regulatory relief 
when regulations create economic disparities between different-sized 
entities. Among the small entities that could be affected by this rule 
are importers of hides and skins. According to the 2002 Economic 
Census, in that year there were 260 establishments in the United States 
which primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of untanned hides 
and skins. No data were available on how many of these entities were 
importers. According to the criteria used by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA), an entity in this category (North American 
Industrial Classification System [NAICS] 4225159) is considered small 
if it employs fewer than 100 persons. In 2002, these 260 entities 
employed a total of 1,983 paid employees, an average of approximately 7 
per entity. It is likely, therefore, that the overwhelming majority of 
these establishments were small. As we have already noted, imports of 
the commodities potentially affected by this rule are relatively low, 
and we do not

[[Page 66226]]

expect this rulemaking to have a significant economic impact on any 
U.S. entities, large or small. Moreover, any possible negative effects 
of this rule on U.S. importers of untanned ruminant or swine hides and 
skins, deer or other ruminant hides and skins from Mexico, and bird 
trophies would be far outweighed by the benefits to other small 
entities by preventing outbreaks of ASF, END, and bovine babesiosis. 
Over 99 percent of U.S. cattle producers and more than 88 percent of 
U.S. swine producers have annual receipts of $750,000 or less, which is 
the criterion by which such firms are designated as small entities by 
the SBA. The majority of meat packing plants (NAICS 311612 and NAICS 
311613), which could be affected by an ASF or bovine babesiosis 
outbreak, and poultry processors (NAICS 311615), which could be 
affected by an END outbreak, are also small entities, the SBA threshold 
for these entities being 100 or fewer employees. The latest available 
data show that in 1997, more than 96 percent of meat packing firms were 
small. These small firms accounted for approximately 40 percent of the 
total value of the industry's shipments. All of these small entities 
will benefit from this final rule by being protected from potential 
outbreaks of ASF, END, and bovine babesiosis.
    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 final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Has no retroactive effect; and (2) 
does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file 
suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection burden in this final rule includes 240 
hours that were not included in the proposed rule. Specifically, the 
additional hours are for compliance with the inspection of ruminant 
hides and skins from Mexico, which were added to the coverage of the 
final rule. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or recordkeeping 
requirements included in this final rule have been approved by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 0579-
0307.

E-Government Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the E-Government Act to promote the use of the Internet 
and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities 
for citizen access to Government information and services, and for 
other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act 
compliance related to this rule, please contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, 
APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2908.

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 95

    Animal feeds, Hay, Imports, Livestock, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Straw, Transportation.

0
Accordingly, we are amending 9 CFR part 95 as follows:

PART 95--SANITARY CONTROL OF ANIMAL BYPRODUCTS (EXCEPT CASINGS), 
AND HAY AND STRAW, OFFERED FOR ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 95 continues to read as follows:

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


Sec. Sec.  95.7, 95.9, and 95.26  [Amended]

0
2. Sections 95.7, 95.9, and 95.26 are amended as follows:
0
a. Footnote 1 in Sec.  95.7, footnote 1 in Sec.  95.9, and footnote 2 
in Sec.  95.26 are redesignated as footnotes 3 through 5, respectively.
0
b. Redesignated footnote 3 in Sec.  95.7 and redesignated footnote 4 in 
Sec.  95.9 are revised to read as follows: ``See footnote 2 in Sec.  
95.5.''

0
3. Section 95.1 is amended by adding, in alphabetical order, a new 
definition of bird trophy to read as follows:


Sec.  95.1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Bird trophy. A carcass or part of a carcass of a wild bird taken as 
game during a hunting expedition for the purpose of processing into 
taxidermy mounts for personal exhibition.
* * * * *

0
4. Section 95.5 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  95.5  Untanned hides and skins and bird trophies; requirements 
for entry.

    Untanned hides and skins and bird trophies\1\ may be imported into 
the United States if they meet the requirements of this section or if 
they are handled at an approved establishment as set forth in Sec.  
95.6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The importation of bird trophies is also subject to 
restrictions under Sec.  95.30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (a) Untanned hides and skins. (1) Except for ruminant hides or 
skins from Mexico, any untanned hides or skins of ruminants from 
regions free of foot-and-mouth disease and rinderpest and any untanned 
hides or skins of swine from regions free of foot-and-mouth disease, 
rinderpest, and African swine fever may be imported without further 
restriction.
    (2) Untanned ruminant hides or skins may be imported from any 
region without other restriction if an inspector determines, based on 
inspection and upon examination of a shipper or importer certificate, 
that they are hard dried hides or skins.
    (3) Except for ruminant hides or skins from Mexico, untanned 
abattoir hides or skins of ruminants may be imported from any region 
without other restriction if the following requirements are met:
    (i) The ruminants from which the hides or skins were taken have 
been slaughtered under national government inspection in a region\2\ 
and in an abattoir in which is maintained an inspection service that 
meets the requirements and has been approved pursuant to part 327 of 
this title; and
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    \2\ Names of these regions will be furnished upon request to the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, 
National Center for Import and Export, 4700 River Road Unit 38, 
Riverdale, Maryland 20737-1231.
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    (ii) The hides or skins are accompanied by a certificate bearing 
the seal of the proper department of that national government and 
signed by an official veterinary inspector of the region in which the 
ruminants were slaughtered. The certificate must state that the hides 
or skins were taken from ruminants slaughtered in an abattoir that 
meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section and that 
the hides or skins are free from anthrax, foot-and-mouth disease, and 
rinderpest.
    (4) Untanned ruminant hides or skins from any region may be 
imported without other restriction if an inspector determines, based on 
inspection and upon examination of a shipper or importer certificate, 
that they have been pickled in a solution of salt containing mineral 
acid and packed in barrels, casks, or tight cases while still wet with 
such solution. The solution must be determined by the inspector to have 
a pH of less than or equal to 5.
    (5) Untanned ruminant hides or skins from any region may be 
imported without other restriction if an inspector determines, based on 
inspection and upon examination of a shipper or importer certificate, 
that they have been

[[Page 66227]]

treated with lime in such manner and for such period as to have 
obviously been processed, to have become dehaired, and to have reached 
the stage of preparation for immediate manufacture into products 
ordinarily made from rawhide.
    (b) Ruminant hides and skins from Mexico. Ruminant hides and skins 
from Mexico may enter the United States without other restriction if:
    (1) They have been subjected to any one of the treatments specified 
in paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(4), or (a)(5) of this section; or
    (2) They are inspected and found to have been frozen solid for 24 
hours by an inspector and are accompanied by a certificate attesting to 
that fact issued by the shipper or importer that is reviewed by the 
inspector, and are free from ticks; or
    (3) They are free from ticks and are accompanied by a certificate 
issued by a full-time salaried veterinary officer of the Government of 
Mexico stating that they have been treated with an acaricide; or
    (4) They are bovine hides taken from cattle that were subjected to 
a tickicidal dip in one of the permitted dips listed in Sec.  72.13(b) 
of this chapter at a Mexican facility 7 to 12 days prior to slaughter, 
and are free from ticks.
    (c) Bird trophies. Bird trophies from regions designated in Sec.  
94.6 of this subchapter as free of exotic Newcastle disease and free of 
HPAI subtype H5N1 may be imported without further restriction if 
accompanied by a certificate of origin issued by the national 
government of the region of export.
    (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
numbers 0579-0015 and 0579-0307)


Sec.  95.6  [Amended]

0
5. Section 95.6 is amended as follows:
0
a. In the section heading, by removing the words ``and skins'' and 
adding the words ``, skins, and bird trophies'' in their place.
0
b. In the introductory text, by adding the words ``or bird trophies'' 
after the word ``skins''.
0
c. In paragraph (a), by adding the words ``or bird trophies'' after the 
word ``skins'' each time it appears.
0
d. In paragraph (c), in the first sentence, by removing the words ``and 
rinderpest'' and adding the words ``, rinderpest, African swine fever, 
and exotic Newcastle disease'' after the words ``foot-and-mouth 
disease'' and, in the second sentence, by adding the words ``or bird 
trophies'' after the word ``skins''.
    Done in Washington, DC, this 4\th\ day of December 2009.

Kevin Shea
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E9-29798 Filed 12-14-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-S