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USDA Revises Brucellosis Programme

07 February 2011

US - The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced a 14-day extension of the comment period for an interim rule that amends its current brucellosis regulations.

Specifically, these amendments:

  • Reduce the amount of testing required to maintain Class Free status for states that have been Class Free for five or more years and have no Brucella abortus in wildlife
  • Remove the provision for automatic reclassification of any Class Free state or area to a lower status if two or more herds are found to have brucellosis within a two-year period or if a single brucellosis-affected herd is not depopulated within 60 days
  • Reduce the age at which cattle are included in herd blood tests
  • Add a requirement that any Class Free state or area with Brucella abortus in wildlife must develop and implement an APHIS-approved brucellosis management plan in order to maintain Class Free status
  • Provide an alternative testing protocol for maintaining the certified brucellosis-free status of dairy herds, which will give producers more flexibility for the herd certification process.

These changes are necessary to refocus resources to control and prevent the spread of brucellosis and to protect and maintain the economic viability of the domestic livestock industry.

Public comments on this interim rule will be accepted for an additional 14 days and be used as USDA continues to move forward with finalising new regulations for the brucellosis programme.

Notice of this action is published in the 4 February issue of Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before 11 March. You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: click here to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: please send one copy of your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2009-0083, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2009-0083.
  • Comments are posted on the Regulations.gov website and may also be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., between 8:00am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 690-2817.

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