[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 44 (Thursday, March 6, 1997)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 10192-10193]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-5519]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 78

[Docket No. 97-009-1]


Brucellosis in Cattle; State and Area Classifications; Tennessee

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the brucellosis regulations concerning the 
interstate movement of cattle by changing the classification of 
Tennessee from Class A to Class Free. We have determined that Tennessee 
meets the standards for Class Free status. This action relieves certain 
restrictions on the interstate movement of cattle from Tennessee.

DATES: Interim rule effective February 28, 1997. Consideration will be 
given only to comments received on or before May 5, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Please send an original and three copies of your comments to 
Docket No. 97-009-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, 
Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please 
state that your comments refer to Docket No. 97-009-1. Comments 
received may be inspected at USDA, room 1141, South Building, 14th 
Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 
4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Persons wishing to 
inspect comments are requested to call ahead on (202) 690-2817 to 
facilitate entry into the comment reading room.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Michael J. Gilsdorf, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, National Animal Health Programs, VS, APHIS, Suite 3B08, 
4700 River Road Unit 36, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231, (301) 734-7708; or 
e-mail: mgilsdorf@aphis.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Brucellosis is a contagious disease affecting animals and humans, 
caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella.
    The brucellosis regulations, contained in 9 CFR part 78 (referred 
to below as the regulations), provide a system for classifying States 
or portions of States according to the rate of Brucella infection 
present, and the general effectiveness of a brucellosis control and 
eradication program. The classifications are Class Free, Class A, Class 
B, and Class C. States or areas that do not meet the minimum standards 
for Class C are required to be placed under Federal quarantine.
    The brucellosis Class Free classification is based on a finding of 
no known brucellosis in cattle for the 12 months preceding 
classification as Class Free. The Class C classification is for States 
or areas with the highest rate of brucellosis. Class B and Class A fall 
between these two extremes. Restrictions on moving cattle interstate 
become less stringent as a State approaches or achieves Class Free 
status.
    The standards for the different classifications of States or areas 
entail (1) maintaining a cattle herd infection rate not to exceed a 
stated level during 12 consecutive months; (2) tracing back to the farm 
of origin and successfully closing a stated percent of all brucellosis 
reactors found in the course of Market Cattle Identification (MCI) 
testing; (3) maintaining a surveillance system that includes testing of 
dairy herds, participation of all recognized slaughtering 
establishments in the MCI program, identification and monitoring of 
herds at high risk of infection (including herds adjacent to infected 
herds and herds from which infected animals have been sold or 
received), and having an individual herd plan in effect within a stated 
number of days after the herd owner is notified of the finding of 
brucellosis in a herd he or she owns; and (4) maintaining minimum 
procedural standards for administering the program.
    Before the effective date of this interim rule, Tennessee was 
classified as a Class A State.
    To attain and maintain Class Free status, a State or area must (1) 
remain free from field strain Brucella abortus infection for 12 
consecutive months or longer; (2) trace back at least 90 percent of all 
brucellosis reactors found in the course of MCI testing to the farm of 
origin; (3) successfully close at least 95 percent of the MCI reactor 
cases traced to the farm of origin during the 12 consecutive month 
period immediately prior to the most recent anniversary of

[[Page 10193]]

the date the State or area was classified Class Free; and (4) have a 
specified surveillance system, as described above, including an 
approved individual herd plan in effect within 15 days of locating the 
source herd or recipient herd.
    After reviewing the brucellosis program records for Tennessee, we 
have concluded that this State meets the standards for Class Free 
status. Therefore, we are removing Tennessee from the list of Class A 
States in Sec. 78.41(b) and adding it to the list of Class Free States 
in Sec. 78.41(a). This action relieves certain restrictions on moving 
cattle interstate from Tennessee.

Immediate Action

    The Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
has determined that there is good cause for publishing this interim 
rule without prior opportunity for public comment. Immediate action is 
warranted to remove unnecessary restrictions on the interstate movement 
of cattle from Tennessee.
    Because prior notice and other public procedures with respect to 
this action are impracticable and contrary to the public interest under 
these conditions, we find good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 to make it 
effective upon signature. We will consider comments that are received 
within 60 days of publication of this rule in the Federal Register. 
After the comment period closes, we will publish another document in 
the Federal Register. It will include a discussion of any comments we 
receive and any amendments we are making to the rule as a result of the 
comments.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this 
action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review 
process required by Executive Order 12866.
    Cattle moved interstate are moved for slaughter, for use as 
breeding stock, or for feeding. Changing the brucellosis status of 
Tennessee from Class A to Class Free will promote economic growth by 
reducing certain testing and other requirements governing the 
interstate movement of cattle from this State. Testing requirements for 
cattle moved interstate for immediate slaughter or to quarantined 
feedlots are not affected by this change. Cattle from certified 
brucellosis-free herds moving interstate are not affected by this 
change.
    The groups affected by this action will be herd owners in 
Tennessee, as well as buyers and importers of cattle from this State.
    There are an estimated 66,000 cattle herds in Tennessee that would 
be affected by this rule. All of these are owned by small entities. 
Test-eligible cattle offered for sale interstate from other than 
certified-free herds must have a negative test under present Class A 
status regulations, but not under regulations concerning Class Free 
status. If such testing were distributed equally among all herds 
affected by this rule, Class Free status would save approximately $5 to 
$10 per head.
    Therefore, we believe that changing the brucellosis status of 
Tennessee will not have a significant economic impact on the small 
entities affected by this interim rule.
    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 rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and 
regulations that are in conflict with this rule; (2) has no retroactive 
effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This document contains no information collection or recordkeeping 
requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.).

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 78

    Animal diseases, Bison, Cattle, Hogs, Quarantine, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Accordingly, 9 CFR part 78 is amended as follows:

PART 78--BRUCELLOSIS

    1. The authority citation for part 78 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 21 U.S.C. 111-114a-1, 114g, 115, 117, 120, 121, 123-
126, 134b, and 134f; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.2(d).

Sec. 78.41  [Amended]

    2. In Sec. 78.41, paragraph (a) is amended by adding ``Tennessee,'' 
immediately after ``South Carolina,'.
    3. In Sec. 78.41, paragraph (b) is amended by removing 
``Tennessee''.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 28th day of February 1997.
Terry L. Medley,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 97-5519 Filed 3-5-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P