[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 247 (Thursday, December 24, 1998)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71209-71210]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-34089]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 63, No. 247 / Thursday, December 24, 1998 / 
Rules and Regulations

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. 98-119-1]


Change in Disease Status of Liechtenstein Because of BSE

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations by adding Liechtenstein to the 
list of regions where bovine spongiform encephalopathy exists because 
the disease has been detected in two bovine animals in that region. The 
effect of this action is to prohibit or restrict the importation of 
ruminants that have been in Liechtenstein and meat, meat products, and 
certain other edible products of ruminants that have been in 
Liechtenstein. This action is necessary to reduce the risk that bovine 
spongiform encephalopathy could be introduced into the United States.

DATES: Interim rule effective December 18, 1998. Consideration will be 
given only to comments received on or before February 22, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Please send an original and three copies of your comments to 
Docket No. 98-119-1, 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. 98-119-1. 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. Gary Colgrove, Chief Staff 
Veterinarian, National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 
River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231, (301) 734-8364.

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 bovine spongiform encephalopathy 
(BSE).
    BSE is a neurological disease of bovine animals and other ruminants 
and is not known to exist in the United States.
    It appears that BSE is primarily spread through the use of ruminant 
feed containing protein and other products from ruminants infected with 
BSE. Therefore, BSE could become established in the United States if 
materials carrying the BSE agent, such as certain meat, animal 
products, and animal byproducts from ruminants in regions in which BSE 
exists, are imported into the United States and are fed to ruminants in 
the United States. BSE could also become established in the United 
States if ruminants from regions in which BSE exists are imported into 
the United States.
    Sections 94.18, 95.4, and 96.2 of the regulations prohibit or 
restrict the importation of certain meat and other animal products and 
byproducts from ruminants that have been in regions in which BSE 
exists. These regions are listed in Sec. 94.18 of the regulations. 
Furthermore, Sec. 93.404(a)(3) states that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service may deny the importation of ruminants from regions 
where a communicable disease such as BSE exists.
    Liechtenstein's Ministry of Agriculture has reported and confirmed 
that BSE was diagnosed in two bovine animals born in Liechtenstein. In 
order to reduce the risk of introducing BSE into the United States, we 
are, therefore, amending Sec. 94.18(a)(1) by adding Liechtenstein to 
the list of regions where BSE is known to exist. Thus, we are 
prohibiting or restricting the importation into the United States of 
ruminants that have been in Liechtenstein, and meat, meat products, and 
certain other edible products of ruminants that have been in 
Liechtenstein.

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 
necessary to prevent the introduction of BSE into the United States.
    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 this 
action 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. The document 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.
    This action adds Liechtenstein to the list of regions where BSE 
exists. We are taking this action based on reports we have received 
from Liechtenstein's Ministry of Agriculture, which confirmed that two 
cases of BSE have occurred in Liechtenstein.
    This emergency situation makes compliance with section 603 and 
timely compliance with section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq.) impracticable. If we determine that this rule will 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, then we will discuss the issues raised by section 604 of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act in our Final Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis.

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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 inconsistent 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 rule 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 94

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Meat and meat products, Milk, 
Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, we are amending 9 CFR part 94 as follows:

PART 94--RINDERPEST, FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE, FOWL PEST (FOWL 
PLAGUE), EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE, AFRICAN SWINE FEVER, HOG 
CHOLERA, AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY: PROHIBITED AND 
RESTRICTED IMPORTATIONS

    1. The authority citation for part 94 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 147a, 150ee, 161, 162, and 450; 19 U.S.C. 
1306; 21 U.S.C. 111, 114a, 134a, 134b, 134c, 134f, 136, and 136a; 31 
U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 4331 and 4332; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 
371.2(d).


Sec. 94.18  [Amended]

    2. In Sec. 94.18, paragraph (a)(1) is amended by adding the word 
``Liechtenstein,'' immediately after ``the Republic of Ireland,''.

    Done in Washington, DC this 18th day of December 1998.
Joan M. Arnoldi,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 98-34089 Filed 12-23-98; 8:45 am]
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