[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 250 (Monday, December 31, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76809-76815]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31417]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 250 / Monday, December 31, 2012 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 76809]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 2

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0023]
RIN 0579-AD03


Submission of Itineraries

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the Animal Welfare Act regulations to include 
more specific requirements in the regulations concerning the submission 
of itineraries by any person who is subject to the Animal Welfare Act 
regulations and who intends to exhibit any animal at any location other 
than the person's approved site when travel will extend overnight. 
APHIS inspectors need access to animals, facilities, and records for 
unannounced inspections when animals are exhibited at a location other 
than at a regulated person's approved site to improve compliance with 
the regulations and the Animal Welfare Act.

DATES: Effective Date: January 30, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Barbara Kohn, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, Animal Care, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 84, Riverdale, 
MD 20737-1234; (301) 851-3751.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Executive Summary

I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    The rule will facilitate enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act 
regulations for traveling exhibitors and thereby help to ensure the 
humane handling, housing, treatment, and transportation of the animals 
in their care.

II. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action in 
Question

    This rule will require the advance submission of itineraries by any 
person who is subject to the Animal Welfare Act regulations and who 
intends to exhibit any animal at any location other than the person's 
approved site when travel will extend overnight.

III. Costs and Benefits

    Costs of the rule for exhibitors are expected to be small. The 
estimated time needed to prepare and submit an itinerary once 
arrangements have been made is about 15 minutes. Many traveling animal 
exhibitors are already submitting itineraries in a timely manner in 
accordance with existing Agency policy when a regulated animal is 
exhibited away from its approved site for 4 days or more. This rule is 
expected to cost the estimated affected 425 exhibitors a total of about 
$15,375 per year to prepare and submit itineraries.
    The rule is expected to eliminate costs APHIS incurs in attempting 
to inspect animals that are not at locations where APHIS expected them 
to be, and to reduce some costs associated with responding to inquiries 
and complaints about traveling exhibitors alleged to have violated 
Animal Welfare Act regulations and standards. Money saved on these 
activities can be put toward inspections and other activities that will 
benefit animal welfare.

The Final Rule

    The Animal Welfare Act (Act) (7 U.S.C. 2131-2159) authorizes the 
Secretary of Agriculture to promulgate rules and standards and other 
requirements governing the humane handling, housing, care, treatment, 
and transportation of certain animals by dealers, exhibitors, and other 
regulated entities. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the 
responsibility for enforcing the Act to the Administrator of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS). Regulations and standards established under the Act are 
contained in title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 1, 
2, and 3. The APHIS Animal Care (AC) program ensures compliance with 
the Act regulations and standards by conducting unannounced inspections 
of premises with regulated animals.
    The regulations contained in 9 CFR part 2 establish certain 
responsibilities of regulated persons under the Act. These 
responsibilities include requirements for the licensing and 
registration of dealers, exhibitors, and research facilities, and 
standards for veterinary care, identification of animals, and 
recordkeeping.
    On October 1, 2009, we published in the Federal Register (74 FR 
50738-50740, Docket No. APHIS-2006-0023) a proposal \1\ to amend the 
regulations to include more specific requirements in the regulations 
concerning the submission of itineraries by any person who is subject 
to the Act regulations and who intends to exhibit any animal at any 
location other than the person's approved site. We proposed to require 
that such itineraries be submitted to the AC Regional Director no fewer 
than 2 days in advance of any travel.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule and the comments we received, go 
to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2006-0023.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We proposed that the itinerary include:
     The name and license or registration number under the Act 
of the person who will exhibit the animals, and if any animals are 
leased, borrowed, loaned, or under some similar arrangement, the name 
of the person who owns the animals;
     The name, identification number or identifying 
characteristics, species (common or scientific name), sex and age of 
each animal; and
     The names, dates, and locations where the animals will 
travel, be housed, and be exhibited, including all anticipated dates 
and locations for any stops and layovers.
    We proposed to require that the itinerary be revised as necessary 
and the AC Regional Director notified of any changes.
    We explained that our reason for proposing to require such 
itineraries to be submitted no fewer than 2 days before the start of 
travel was to ensure that AC inspectors have advance notice of the 
locations where animals will be exhibited so that they can make 
unannounced inspections to ensure compliance with regulations and 
standards for animal welfare.
    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
November 30, 2009. We received 790 comments by that date. They were 
from

[[Page 76810]]

animal welfare organizations, exhibitor and trade associations, 
exhibitors, and private citizens. We have considered all issues raised 
by the commenters and discuss below those issues that were within the 
scope of the proposed rule.
    A large number of commenters supported the proposed rule as 
written. Among the reasons provided for their support, commenters 
stated that the proposed provisions would make it easier for APHIS to 
monitor adherence to the regulations and that the rule would have 
little impact on the majority of exhibitors who already submit 
itineraries in a timely manner. One commenter expressed the hope that 
the proposed provisions would allow APHIS to ensure that animals are 
afforded the minimum space requirements for primary enclosures when not 
in actual transport and to better monitor the time animals spend in an 
exercise pen or its equivalent.
    Issue: Some commenters stated that the proposed rule is unnecessary 
because exhibitors already submit itineraries in accordance with a 
policy that APHIS implemented in 1997, titled ``Policy 2,'' which 
states:

    Exhibitors who are in continuous travel status shall update 
their itinerary as often as necessary to ensure AC [Animal Care] 
knows their whereabouts at all times.
    Circuses, petting zoos, and acts with an established route shall 
notify AC in advance of departing their home facility and update 
travel information as needed.
    Exhibitors who take animals from their facilities from time to 
time shall notify AC when any animal is gone more than four (4) 
consecutive days. Upon request, a licensee shall provide an 
itinerary of absences of less than four (4) days.
    Providing notification ensures the opportunity for access for an 
unannounced inspection, eliminates unnecessary AC visits when a 
licensee has been inspected recently, and minimizes resources needed 
to locate the exhibitor.
    The itinerary should provide the following:
    1. Dates away from the home facility.
    2. City and State for all stops.
    3. Site name or location of all stops.
    Similar information must be provided for all periods of ``lay-
over'' while traveling.

    Response: Federal regulations are codified in the CFR and carry the 
force of law. The regulations that APHIS has promulgated in accordance 
with the Act are set forth in 9 CFR parts 1 through 4. Additionally, we 
sometimes issue policy statements to provide the guidance to the public 
regarding our interpretation of what is necessary for regulated 
entities to meet the requirements of the regulations. Policy 2 was 
issued for guidance regarding the requirements of the regulations in 
Sec.  2.126, which specify that APHIS must have access to regulated 
facilities in order to conduct inspections that effectively enforce the 
Act. Although regulated entities are subject to the Act no matter where 
their animals might be located, the regulations in Sec.  2.126 have not 
included specific provisions on what APHIS considers necessary for 
effective enforcement of the regulations when animals have temporarily 
been moved from an approved site. Although Policy 2 has been useful in 
conveying APHIS' intent and expectations in such situations, we 
consider it necessary to codify in Sec.  2.126 more specific 
responsibilities of a regulated entity.
    Issue: A number of commenters stated that if APHIS does replace 
Policy 2 with regulations in the CFR, the regulations should be 
consistent with Policy 2 in requiring itineraries to be submitted only 
if the animals are away from the approved site for 4 days or more. 
Commenters stated that exhibitors sometimes take animals offsite for 
several short engagements during the same week or even the same day. 
Commenters expressed concern that being required to submit an itinerary 
for every movement from the approved site would impose a large and 
unnecessary paperwork burden on both exhibitors and APHIS. One 
commenter recommended that if APHIS concludes there is a need for 
additional reporting of offsite engagements, the regulations require 
that all exhibitors who move animals offsite for more than 48 hours 
notify APHIS of their route, exhibit locations, and anticipated time of 
return. One commenter recommended that, instead of requiring reporting 
of all travel from an approved site, APHIS require that exhibitors have 
on file with APHIS current contact information for the person in charge 
of the traveling unit. Another commenter recommended that, instead of 
requiring that all travel from a home facility be reported, APHIS 
should require that regulated facilities keep in their own records 
information identifying the animals taken offsite, the location to 
which the animals have been taken, the date and time of travel, and the 
date and time when the animals were returned to the facility. The 
commenter stated that such information would enable APHIS inspectors to 
know the location of animals that are taken from the approved site for 
short periods of time.
    Response: Based on our experience enforcing the regulations, we 
consider 4 days too long a time for APHIS to be unaware of the location 
of animals covered by the Act. As we stated in our October 2009 
proposed rule, we need to ensure that AC inspectors have advance notice 
of the locations where animals will be exhibited so that they can make 
unannounced inspections to ensure compliance with regulations and 
standards for animal welfare. Knowing which exhibitor showed animals at 
a particular location on a particular date will also help AC inspectors 
follow up on complaints that APHIS receives about alleged violations of 
the regulations and standards by traveling exhibitors. Such complaints 
are often received after an exhibitor has left a location, and the 
person submitting the complaint often does not know the name of the 
exhibitor. However, based on the information supplied by commenters, we 
agree that the benefit of APHIS' knowing the location of animals that 
are taken offsite for exhibition for less than a day may not be 
commensurate with the reporting that would be required under the 
proposed provisions. Therefore, in this final rule, we are providing 
that the reporting requirement under new Sec.  2.126(c) applies only if 
animals are absent from the approved site overnight.
    Issue: One commenter stated that if a complaint were filed while an 
animal were offsite for less than 4 days, the animal would likely be 
returned to its approved site before an inspector could reach the 
offsite location.
    Response: We are making no changes based on the comment. Complaints 
regarding potential violations of the Act are made at various times in 
relation to the incident or observation. Some are made several weeks or 
months later. In order for APHIS to effectively follow up on any 
information received, it is imperative that the Agency know the 
location of the licensee or registrant and animals at the time of the 
incident or observation that prompted the complaint.
    Issue: As noted above, the proposed rule would have required that 
itineraries submitted by exhibitors be received by the AC Regional 
Director no fewer than 2 days in advance of any travel to another 
location for exhibition, regardless of the length of time. A number of 
commenters expressed concern that having to give such advance notice 
would prohibit some exhibitors from accepting certain engagements and 
requested that the regulations provide for situations where 2 days' 
notice is not practical. Commenters stated that many requests for 
animal exhibits, including those for educational purposes, occur within 
2 days of the requested exhibit date and that some requests are 
received on the day of the requested exhibition. Conversely, one 
commenter recommended that the regulations require that a detailed 
itinerary be

[[Page 76811]]

submitted to APHIS no less than 2 months before travel. Another 
commenter stated that engagements accepted with little advance notice 
may be subject to less careful planning than those scheduled ahead of 
time, making it more important for APHIS to ensure that the regulations 
and the standards of the Act are met.
    Response: We expect that some of the concerns expressed by the 
commenters will be addressed by the change we are making to the 
proposed provisions that will exempt exhibitors from the submission 
requirement if the animals are taken offsite for exhibition and 
returned the same day. Movements of animals offsite for exhibition for 
longer periods of time requires preparation with regard to logistics 
such as housing, security, food, water, employees, and public barriers 
and perimeter fences. Such arrangements are typically made well in 
advance of travel. AC needs the itineraries before the travel begins to 
ensure that inspectors know where the animals will be on specific dates 
so that they can make unannounced inspections at the travel sites. 
Requiring itineraries to be submitted at least 48 hours in advance will 
give AC sufficient notice and will be close enough to the time of 
travel for travel plans and logistics to be firm in most instances. 
Nevertheless, we recognize the need for some flexibility regarding this 
requirement. If an exhibitor does accept an engagement for which travel 
will begin with less than 48 hours' notice, the exhibitor must contact 
the APHIS AC Regional Director immediately in writing with the 
information listed in Sec.  2.126(c). Facsimiles or emails are 
acceptable. We expect such notifications on shortened notice to be 
infrequent, however, and exhibitors who repeatedly provide less than 48 
hours' notice will be subject to increased scrutiny under the Act. We 
do not consider it practical to set a specific threshold for what 
constitutes ``repeatedly,'' due to the wide range of number of 
submissions by exhibitors. Whereas some exhibitors make only several 
submissions a year that cover multiple pre-scheduled exhibitions, 
others submit more numerous submissions on a job-by-job basis. If APHIS 
considers an exhibitor to be submitting itineraries with less than 48 
hours' notice with a high frequency, we may monitor the exhibitor more 
closely.
    Issue: Several commenters stated that the information on 
itineraries submitted in a timely fashion frequently becomes outdated 
by the time the animals actually begin their travel. Commenters stated 
that, due to factors such as illness, behavior, client requests, or 
shedding, animals listed on the itinerary sometimes cannot travel. 
Additionally, said some commenters, illness or scheduling conflicts may 
require that staff members other than those listed on the itinerary 
travel with the animals. The commenters expressed concern that having 
to report all such last-minute changes to APHIS would become unduly 
burdensome for exhibitors.
    Response: Although exhibitors are free to submit itineraries well 
in advance of intended travel, this rule only requires submission of an 
itinerary no less than 2 days before the travel. Although we recognize 
that even during that amount of time, it may sometimes become necessary 
to change the plans indicated on the itinerary, based on our experience 
dealing with the regulated industry, we do not expect such changes to 
happen frequently enough that reporting them to APHIS will create an 
undue burden on exhibitors. Requirements for notifying APHIS of 
itinerary changes are discussed below.
    Issue: Some commenters expressed concern that the proposed rule 
included a requirement that an itinerary include all anticipated dates 
and locations (with addresses) for any stops and layovers, and that the 
itinerary be promptly revised, as necessary, to account for any 
changes. Commenters stated that it would be unreasonably burdensome on 
the exhibitor and APHIS to require notification of every minor 
deviation from a previously filed itinerary. One commenter asked 
whether APHIS is contemplating requiring specific information regarding 
rest stops and meal breaks. Commenters stated that a variety of factors 
determine where and when exhibitors stop on the road for animal care 
checks and that events that delay or interrupt travel sometimes occur 
with little or no advance warning. The commenters gave as examples 
problems with weather, mechanical breakdowns, road conditions, 
uncooperative animals, and delays from a home facility or stop/layover. 
Other factors cited included access to water spigots and adequate 
parking. One commenter stated that train travel is sometimes 
interrupted due to track or equipment issues or for crew changes, the 
filling of water tanks, or to allow other traffic to proceed. During 
longer delays, stated the commenter, animals might be offloaded for 
exercise and cleaning of railcars.
    Response: It is not the intent of this final rule, nor is it the 
intent of Policy 2 and Sec.  2.126 of the regulations, to require that 
APHIS be advised regarding every minute of a journey. The required 
itinerary must indicate where the licensee or registrant and animals 
will be on which dates. If there is an anticipated layover of a length 
of time sufficient to allow/require removal of the animals from the 
transport enclosures, that layover should be indicated on the 
itinerary. Unanticipated delays of such length must be reported to the 
appropriate APHIS AC Regional Director the next APHIS business day.\2\
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    \2\ APHIS Regional offices are available each weekday, except on 
Federal holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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    Issue: As noted above, the proposed rule included the requirement 
that the information on a submitted itinerary be promptly revised to 
account for any changes. Several commenters asked what APHIS' intent is 
regarding the term ``promptly,'' whether APHIS personnel would be 
available to receive notification of changes that occur overnight, and 
what process APHIS had in mind for editing an itinerary.
    Response: This final rule requires notification of itinerary 
changes in written form. Emails and facsimile notifications can be sent 
at any hour. We are providing in this final rule that, if initial 
notification in an emergency is made other than by email or facsimile, 
it must be followed up with written documentation at the earliest 
possible time. For changes that occur after normal business hours, the 
change must be conveyed to the appropriate APHIS AC Regional Director 
no later than the following APHIS business day.\3\
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    \3\ See footnote 2.
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    Issue: A number of commenters expressed concern that if detailed 
information about their stops became public knowledge, it could 
compromise the safety of animals and caretakers. The commenters stated 
that such information could be used by special interest groups to plan 
disruptions or conduct acts of violence against exhibitors. Other 
commenters stated that having advance notice of an exhibitor's 
itinerary would give competitors an advantage in competing for 
business. The commenters stated that itineraries should be made 
available only to APHIS and its inspectors.
    Response: We are cognizant of the concerns of persons subject to 
the Act regarding the release of itinerary information. We note, 
however, that the type of information required in this rule is already 
required in accordance with Policy 2 and Sec.  2.126 of the regulations 
and we are not aware of any problems that have been caused by it to 
date. Further, a number of licensees and registrants already inform the 
public of their exhibit dates and locations through Web sites and other 
means. A person

[[Page 76812]]

seeking information submitted to APHIS would need to request such 
information under the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts from 
release commercial or financial information that is privileged or 
confidential.
    Issue: One commenter recommended that loans for a stated period of 
time between Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) member zoos and 
aquariums for exhibit or breeding be exempt from the provisions of the 
proposal.
    Response: We agree that movements of animals from one zoological 
facility to another for the purposes described by the commenter are of 
a different nature than the types of movement contemplated by Sec.  
2.126(c). Such transfers, which are generally made on a long-term 
basis, do not fall under the intent or requirements of this final rule. 
When one zoological facility loans an animal to another zoological 
facility for purposes such as exhibit or breeding, the facilities 
generally enter into a legal agreement that transfers responsibility 
for the animal to the recipient facility for the loan period. The 
recipient facility is responsibility for meeting the requirements of 
the Act with regard to that animal during the duration of the loan 
period.
    Issue: One commenter stated that there is no need to apply the 
regulation as proposed to zoos. The commenter stated that the clear 
intent of Policy 2 and Sec.  2.126 of the regulations is to ensure that 
true traveling exhibitors such as carnivals, circuses, animal acts, 
traveling educational exhibits, and petting zoos are available for 
inspection. The commenter stated that because zoos are not traveling 
exhibitors, there is no need to apply the proposed requirements to 
them.
    Response: We agree that zoos are generally not considered traveling 
exhibitors. As indicated above, those licensees and registrants who 
take animals offsite and return them the same day will not need to 
submit an itinerary to APHIS for those movements. However, APHIS needs 
to know the location of animals moved from zoos overnight for 
exhibition, just as the Agency needs to know the whereabouts of animals 
taken offsite overnight for exhibition by other exhibitors. With the 
exception discussed above for loans between zoological facilities, the 
provisions of Sec.  2.126(c) will apply to zoological facilities, just 
as Policy 2 has applied to permanent facilities such as zoos.
    Issue: The proposed rule included the requirement that an itinerary 
contain the following information:
     The name(s) of the person(s) who intends to exhibit the 
animal(s) and transport the animal(s) for exhibition purposes, 
including any business name(s) and current Act license or registration 
number(s) and, in the event that any animal is leased, borrowed, 
loaned, or under some similar arrangement, the name of the person who 
owns such animal;
     The name, identification number or identifying 
characteristics, species (common or scientific name), sex and age of 
each animal; and
     The names, dates, and locations (with addresses) where the 
animals will travel, be housed, and be exhibited, including all 
anticipated dates and locations (with addresses) for any stops and 
layovers.
    Several commenters stated the required information is duplicative 
of information the exhibitor is already required to file. Several 
commenters stated that all animals already must be accompanied by a 
valid, current health certification, which indicates the animal's age, 
sex, species, and identification number where applicable. One commenter 
stated that the proposed requirements would be duplicative of 
information the exhibitor already files each year as part of its 
license renewal. The commenter stated that the information already 
submitted includes a complete list of cities and precise engagement 
dates and venues.
    Response: We are making no changes based on these comments. This 
rule requires information beyond that collected by other programs and 
agencies regarding the movement of animals. The information provided in 
a health certificate does not encompass all the information required 
under Policy 2 and the more specific requirements of Sec.  2.126 of 
this rule. Additionally, it is important that this information be 
submitted and distributed to our field inspectors in a timely manner. 
Having to rely on incomplete information collected by other parties 
would not allow efficient and effective use of APHIS resources. We do 
not expect that there will be a significant increase in reporting 
requirements for exhibitors who already comply with the regulations and 
Policy 2. Exhibitors who submit a yearly itinerary that does not change 
would not need to submit further itineraries under this rule. However, 
any changes to that yearly submission would need to be reported to 
APHIS.
    Issue: As part of the proposed rule, in accordance with the 
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), 
APHIS provided an estimate of the public reporting burden for the 
collection of information that would occur under the provisions of the 
proposal. We estimated that the number of respondents who would provide 
information to APHIS if the proposed rule were made final would be 300, 
and that each respondent would provide an average of 8.66 responses per 
year, for a total of approximately 2,600 responses per year. We 
estimated that each response would take an average of 0.25 hours to 
complete.
    One commenter, a representative of the AZA, estimated that because 
many AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums conduct offsite outreach 
programs at locations such as schools and nursing homes, the AZA's 221 
accredited zoos and aquariums alone would make a total of at least 
50,000 to 70,000 submissions annually. Another commenter stated that 
adjustments to itineraries would require more than 15 minutes each.
    Response: Based on comments we received from the public and upon 
review of our estimate of potential reporting burden for this rule, we 
agree that submissions by permanently based zoological facilities were 
underrepresented in our estimate. However, we disagree with the 
commenter who estimated that AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums would 
submit at least 50,000 to 70,000 itineraries annually. To arrive at 
that total, each zoo would need to submit from 225 to 320 itineraries 
per year, which we consider unlikely, particularly in light of the 
change we are making in this rule that will not require submission of 
itineraries for trips that do not extend overnight.
    We have revised our estimates of the number of exhibitors who will 
be affected by this rule. Our original estimate that 300 exhibitors 
would be affected by the rule was based on the number of active 
licensees that had inspections at traveling sites. We have increased 
that number by 125, based on our estimate that approximately 6 percent 
of nontraveling exhibitors may occasionally take animals away from 
their facility overnight for exhibition. We further estimate that those 
425 exhibitors would provide a total of about 4,100 responses each 
year. We derived this number through discussion with AC regional 
offices and after looking at the size and histories of traveling 
exhibitors. For example, large circuses usually have itineraries 
planned a year or more in advance. Some smaller exhibitors may not know 
their schedules until a week before a performance. Thus, we estimated 
that about 100 of the affected exhibitors would submit itineraries 
about twice a year (200 submissions), and that the

[[Page 76813]]

remainder would submit itineraries monthly (3,900 submissions). We 
continue to consider our estimate of 0.25 hours per response to be 
reasonable. In each case where animals are to be moved, the facility or 
promoter would already have arranged the necessary booking and trip 
logistics. The 0.25 hours represents the time needed to type or write 
out the itinerary and send it by email or facsimile to APHIS.
    Issue: Several commenters stated that APHIS did not make clear in 
its proposal why the Agency considers the proposed regulations to be 
necessary. One commenter requested that APHIS indicate the types of 
problems its inspectors are experiencing. One commenter stated that, in 
place of the expanded requirements, APHIS should work with regulated 
entities to develop methods of ensuring that APHIS maintains reasonable 
access to facilities and animals. One commenter questioned why APHIS 
has decided to take on the extra burden of requiring itinerary 
submissions for all traveling exhibits.
    Response: As we stated in our October 2009 proposed rule, AC 
inspectors need to know the location and dates of traveling exhibits in 
advance of the travel so that they can conduct unannounced inspections 
of the animals at those sites. Currently, if an exhibitor has not 
provided AC with an accurate itinerary in advance of travel, an 
inspector may arrive at a facility only to find that some or all of the 
animals are elsewhere. Additionally, if AC receives a complaint about 
an alleged violation of the regulations and standards by an exhibitor 
at a certain location on a certain date, having a record of the 
itineraries will enable us to determine which exhibitor and which 
animals were at the location on that date so that we can look into the 
complaint. Currently, if there is no itinerary on file for an 
exhibition at a location and date cited in a complaint, and the 
exhibitor is not identified, APHIS must conduct an investigation to try 
to determine which exhibitor was there, which can be difficult and time 
consuming, and sometimes unsuccessful. We anticipate that this rule 
will enable APHIS to make more efficient use of its personnel. While we 
welcome recommendations from regulated entities on how to ensure that 
APHIS has reasonable access, we consider this rule a reasonable way to 
achieve that end.
    Issue: Several commenters stated that the administrative burden on 
APHIS could be reduced by applying the proposed provisions to those 
exhibitors who have shown a reason to be of concern to APHIS and 
waiving the requirements for exhibitors who have demonstrated to APHIS 
that they provide their animals with quality care. One commenter stated 
that perhaps APHIS should limit the itinerary requirements to offsite 
exhibit of big cats.
    Response: We are making no changes based on the comments. We do not 
expect an undue administrative burden on APHIS due to this rule. The 
intent of this rule is to ensure that APHIS has access to all regulated 
animals for inspections and enforcement activities at all times. 
Application of the rule to selected licensees and registrants could be 
construed as arbitrary and capricious enforcement of the regulations.
    Issue: Several commenters recommended that the proposal be changed 
to require automated delivery of itineraries to APHIS. One commenter 
stated that submission of an itinerary by email would take about 15 
minutes and would address the problem of paper copies of itineraries 
becoming outdated before APHIS receives them.
    Response: While we agree that there are advantages to submitting 
itineraries electronically, we are not requiring submission by that 
means. Some persons subject to the Act may not have access to that 
technology, especially while traveling. Because paper copies will need 
to arrive at APHIS no later than 2 days before the scheduled travel, in 
the great majority of cases we do not expect them to be out of date by 
the time the travel begins. As noted above, in those cases where 
changes need to be made to itineraries at the last minute, those 
changes will need to be submitted to APHIS in some expedited fashion 
(e.g., by phone, facsimile, or email), followed by a written submission 
if the change is not initially in writing.
    Issue: One commenter asked how APHIS intends to inform newly 
affected parties of any updates to the regulations.
    Response: Exhibitors will be notified of the regulatory changes in 
a variety of ways. All proposed and final rules are made available to 
the public in the Federal Register. Additionally, a press release will 
be issued when this rule is published and an announcement will be 
posted to APHIS' Web site. APHIS inspectors will also discuss the rule 
with licensees and registrants during inspections of regulated 
facilities.
    Issue: One commenter asked what types of animals will be covered by 
this rule.
    Response: This rule applies to all animals covered by the Act that 
are exhibited anywhere other than the person's approved site.
    Issue: One commenter questioned whether the proposed provisions 
were within APHIS' authority.
    Response: Section 2151 of the Act authorizes the Secretary to 
promulgate such rules, regulations, and orders as the Secretary may 
deem necessary to govern the humane handling, housing, care, treatment, 
and transportation of certain animals by dealers, exhibitors, and other 
regulated entities. Section 2146 of the Act provides that the Secretary 
shall, at all reasonable times, have access to the places of business 
and the facilities, animals, and those records required to be kept 
pursuant to the Act. The Secretary has delegated the responsibility for 
enforcing the Act to the APHIS Administrator. This final rule merely 
adds more specific requirements to Sec.  2.126 of the Animal Welfare 
Act regulations.

Miscellaneous

    In this final rule, we are making several nonsubstantive editorial 
changes to what appeared in the proposed rule. Instead of making joint 
references to the singular and plural as, e.g., ``animal(s),'' we are 
using the singular to signify also the plural. This is consistent with 
the style used in the definitions in Sec.  1.1 of the regulations. In 
the regulatory text of this rule, when referring to the AC Regional 
Director, we use the term ``AC Regional Director,'' which is consistent 
with usage elsewhere in the regulations.
    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 Orders 12866 and 13563 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This final rule has been determined to be significant for the 
purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has been reviewed by 
the Office of Management and Budget.
    We have prepared an economic analysis for this rule. The economic 
analysis provides a cost-benefit analysis, as required by Executive 
Orders 12866 and 13563, which direct agencies to assess all costs and 
benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is 
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits 
(including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety 
effects, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance 
of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of 
harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. The economic analysis 
also examines the potential economic effects of this rule on small 
entities, as required by the

[[Page 76814]]

Regulatory Flexibility Act. The economic analysis is summarized below. 
Copies of the full analysis are available by contacting the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or on the Regulations.gov 
Web site (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing 
Regulations.gov).
    APHIS is amending the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations to 
require a person who intends to exhibit regulated animals at any 
location other than the person's approved site to submit an itinerary 
at least 2 days in advance when travel extends overnight. In those 
instances when exhibitors are offered engagements with less than 2 
days' notice, APHIS will accept itineraries less than 48 hours in 
advance of travel.
    The rule will facilitate enforcement of the AWA regulations for 
traveling exhibitors, and thereby help to ensure the humane handling, 
housing, treatment, and transportation of the animals in their care.
    Costs of the rule for exhibitors are expected to be small. The AC 
program has estimated that preparation and submission of an itinerary 
takes about 15 minutes. Many traveling animal exhibitors are already 
submitting itineraries in a timely manner in accordance with existing 
Agency policy when a regulated animal is exhibited away from its 
approved site for 4 days or more.
    The time required to prepare the estimated 4,100 itineraries that 
will be required because of this rule is expected to cost the 
approximately 425 affected exhibitors a total of $15,375 per year.
    Most of the traveling exhibitors affected by the rule are small 
entities. Regardless of size, we do not expect the exhibitors to be 
significantly affected.
    The rule is expected eliminate costs APHIS incurs in attempting to 
inspect animals that are not at locations where APHIS expected them to 
be, and to reduce some costs associated with responding to inquiries 
and complaints about traveling exhibitors alleged to have violated 
Animal Welfare regulations and standards. Money saved on these 
activities can be put toward inspections and other activities that will 
benefit animal welfare.
    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 12372

    This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, 
which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local 
officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. 
The Act does not provide administrative procedures which must be 
exhausted prior to a judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    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 rule have been approved by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 0579-0361.

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 2

    Animal welfare, Pets, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Research.

    Accordingly, we are amending 9 CFR part 2 as follows:

PART 2--REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 2131-2159; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.7.


0
2. In Sec.  2.126, the section heading is revised and a new paragraph 
(c) and OMB citation at the end of the section are added to read as 
follows:


Sec.  2.126  Access and inspection of records and property; submission 
of itineraries.

* * * * *
    (c) Any person who is subject to the Animal Welfare regulations and 
who intends to exhibit any animal at any location other than the 
person's approved site (including, but not limited to, circuses, 
traveling educational exhibits, animal acts, and petting zoos), except 
for travel that does not extend overnight, shall submit a written 
itinerary to the AC Regional Director. The itinerary shall be received 
by the AC Regional Director no fewer than 2 days in advance of any 
travel and shall contain complete and accurate information concerning 
the whereabouts of any animal intended for exhibition at any location 
other than the person's approved site. If the exhibitor accepts an 
engagement for which travel will begin with less than 48 hours' notice, 
the exhibitor shall immediately contact the AC Regional Director in 
writing with the required information. APHIS expects such situations to 
occur infrequently, and exhibitors who repeatedly provide less than 48 
hours' notice will, after notice by APHIS, be subject to increased 
scrutiny under the Act.
    (1) The itinerary shall include the following:
    (i) The name of the person who intends to exhibit the animal and 
transport the animal for exhibition purposes, including any business 
name and current Act license or registration number and, in the event 
that any animal is leased, borrowed, loaned, or under some similar 
arrangement, the name of the person who owns such animal;
    (ii) The name, identification number or identifying 
characteristics, species (common or scientific name), sex and age of 
each animal; and
    (iii) The names, dates, and locations (with addresses) where the 
animals will travel, be housed, and be exhibited, including all 
anticipated dates and locations (with addresses) for any stops and 
layovers that allow or require removal of the animals from the 
transport enclosures. Unanticipated delays of such length shall be 
reported to the AC Regional Director the next APHIS business day. APHIS 
Regional offices are available each weekday, except on Federal 
holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    (2) The itinerary shall be revised as necessary, and the AC 
Regional Director shall be notified of any changes. If initial 
notification of a change due to an emergency is made by a means other 
than email or facsimile, it shall be followed by written documentation 
at the earliest possible time. For changes that occur after normal 
APHIS business hours, the change shall be conveyed to the AC Regional 
Director no later than the following APHIS business day. APHIS Regional 
offices are available each weekday, except on Federal holidays, from 8 
a.m. to 5 p.m.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0361)


[[Page 76815]]


    Done in Washington, DC, this 20th day of December, 2012.
Rebecca Blue,
Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-31417 Filed 12-28-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P