[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 243 (Tuesday, December 18, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74787-74788]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30257]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 243 / Tuesday, December 18, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 74787]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. APHIS-2012-0094]


Notice of Availability of an Evaluation of the Swine Vesicular 
Disease Status of Certain Regions in Italy

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we have determined that the 
Italian Regions of Lombardia, Emilio-Romagna, Veneto, and Piemonte and 
the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano are free of swine 
vesicular disease. This determination is based on our review of the 
documentation submitted by the Government of Italy in support of its 
request and the findings of our own animal health risk evaluation. We 
are making our determination, as well as the evaluation we have 
prepared in connection with this action, available for review and 
comment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
February 19, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0094-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2012-0094, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-
0094 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA 
South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, 
DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, 
please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Chip Wells, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, Regionalization Evaluation Services, Sanitary Trade 
Issues Team, National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 
River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-3089.

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 communicable diseases, including swine vesicular disease (SVD). 
These are dangerous and destructive communicable diseases of ruminants 
and swine.
    Sections 94.12 and 94.14 of the regulations contain requirements 
governing the importation of pork and pork products and swine, 
respectively, from regions where SVD exists in order to prevent the 
introduction of the disease into the United States. We consider SVD to 
exist in all regions except those listed in accordance with Sec.  
94.12(a)(2) as being free of SVD.
    Section 94.13 of the regulations contains requirements governing 
the importation of pork or pork products from regions that have been 
determined to be free of SVD, but that are subject to certain 
restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships 
with SVD-affected regions. Such regions are listed in accordance with 
paragraph (a)(2) of that section.
    The regulations in 9 CFR 92.2 contain requirements for requesting 
the recognition of the animal health status of a region or for the 
approval of the export of a particular type of animal or animal product 
to the United States from a foreign region. If, after review and 
evaluation of the information submitted in support of the request, the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) believes the request 
can be safely granted, APHIS will make its evaluation available for 
public comment through a notice published in the Federal Register. 
Following the close of the comment period, APHIS will review all 
comments received and will make a final determination regarding the 
request that will be detailed in another notice published in the 
Federal Register.
    In July 1997, the European Commission and the Government of Italy 
submitted a request to APHIS seeking the recognition of certain Regions 
in northern Italy (in Italy, a ``Region'' is a type of political 
jurisdiction) as being free of SVD. We conducted a qualitative risk 
assessment, and on June 25, 1999, we published in the Federal Register 
(64 FR 34155-34168, Docket No. 98-090-1) a proposal to amend the 
regulations in order to recognize eight regions in northern Italy as 
free of SVD. However, before that rule was made final, SVD outbreaks 
occurred in four of the eight Regions. Therefore, in the final rule 
published April 7, 2003, in the Federal Register (68 FR 16922-16941, 
Docket No. 98-090-5), APHIS recognized only those four Regions that 
remained free of SVD (Friuli, Liguria, Marche, and Valle d'Aosta). In 
the intervening years, we have continued our evaluation of the SVD 
status of Italy, as is our standard procedure in cases where the 
requesting country does not withdraw its request for recognition of 
disease freedom. Based on information provided by the Italian 
government as well as multiple site visits, we have now found four 
Regions within north-central Italy (Lombardia, Emilio-Romagna, Veneto, 
and Piemonte) and two autonomous provinces (Trento and Bolzano) to be 
free of SVD.
    APHIS has evaluated the risk of introducing SVD into the United 
States via the importation of SVD-susceptible species or products from 
these areas of Italy in accordance with 9 CFR part 92. Based on this 
evaluation, APHIS has found that that the surveillance, prevention, and 
control measures implemented by Italy in the four Regions and two 
autonomous provinces under consideration as being free of SVD are 
sufficient to minimize the likelihood of introducing SVD into the 
United States via imports of SVD-susceptible species or products. 
However, because of its proximity to or trading relationships with SVD-
affected regions, we have found that it is necessary to impose 
additional restrictions in accordance with Sec.  94.13

[[Page 74788]]

on the importation of pork or pork products from the areas of Italy 
under consideration for being declared free of SVD.
    Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  92.2(e), we are announcing the 
availability, for public review and comment, of our evaluation of the 
SVD status of the Regions and autonomous provinces under consideration. 
The evaluation may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our 
reading room. (Instructions for accessing Regulations.gov and 
information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided 
under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this document.) The 
evaluation, as well as the information evaluated, may also be viewed at 
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/reg_request.shtml by 
following the link for ``Previous regionalization requests and 
supporting documentation.''
    After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our 
decision regarding the disease status of the Italian Regions of 
Lombardia, Emilio-Romagna, Veneto, and Piemonte and the autonomous 
provinces of Trento and Bolzano with respect to SVD and the import 
status of susceptible animals and products of such animals in a 
subsequent notice.

    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.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 11th day of December 2012.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-30257 Filed 12-17-12; 8:45 am]
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