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CWD GAME FARMS Herd Certification Program FEDERAL DOCKET

-------------------- BSE-L@LISTS.AEGEE.ORG --------------------

[Federal Register: March 31, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 60)] [Proposed Rules]
[Page 14495-14506] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access
[wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr31mr09-26]

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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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[[Page 14495]]

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 55 and 81

[Docket No. 00-108-7] RIN 0579-AB35

Chronic Wasting Disease Herd Certification Program and Interstate Movement
of Farmed or Captive Deer, Elk, and Moose

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing further amendments that would establish a herd
certification program to eliminate chronic wasting disease from farmed or
captive cervids in the United States. Under the 2006 Chronic Wasting Disease
(CWD) rule, participating deer, elk, and moose herds would have to follow
CWD Herd Certification Program requirements for animal identification,
testing, herd management, and movement of animals into and from herds. This
document proposes additional changes to the program regarding recognition of
State bans on the entry of farmed or captive cervids for reasons unrelated
to CWD, the number of years an animal must be monitored for CWD before it
may move interstate, interstate movement of cervids that originated from
herds in proximity to a CWD outbreak, herd inventory procedures, and several
other matters. These actions are intended to help eliminate CWD from the
farmed or captive cervid herds in the United States.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 1,
2009.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to

http:// http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/
main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2006-0118

to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials
available electronically.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send two copies of your comment to
Docket No. 00-108-7, 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. 00-108-7.

Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in
our reading room. The reading room 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)
690-2817 before coming.

Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its programs is
available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Dean E. Goeldner, Senior Staff
Veterinarian, Ruminant Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43,
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4916.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy
(TSE) of cervids (members of Cervidae, the deer family) that, as of October,
2008, has been found only in wild and captive animals in North America and
in captive animals in the Republic of Korea. First recognized as a clinical
``wasting'' syndrome in 1967, the disease is typified by chronic weight loss
leading to death. There is no known relationship between CWD and any other
TSE of animals or people. Species known to be susceptible to CWD via natural
routes of transmission include Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, white-tailed
deer, black-tailed deer, and moose.

In the United States, CWD has been confirmed in free-ranging deer and elk in
Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota,
Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and, as of October 2008, in 32
farmed elk herds and 11 farmed or captive white- tailed deer herds in
Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New York,
Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The disease was first detected in
U.S. farmed elk in 1997. It was also diagnosed in a wild moose in Colorado
in 2005.

Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the
Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to issue orders and promulgate
regulations to prevent the introduction into the United States and the
dissemination within the United States of any pest or disease of livestock.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS') regulations in 9
CFR subchapter B govern cooperative programs to control and eradicate
communicable diseases of livestock.

On July 21, 2006, we published a final rule in the Federal Register (71 FR
41682, Docket No. 00-108-3; ``the CWD final rule'') amending 9 CFR
subchapter B by establishing regulations in part 55 for a Chronic Wasting
Disease Herd Certification Program to help eliminate chronic wasting disease
(CWD) from the farmed or captive cervid herds in the United States. Under
that rule, owners of deer, elk, and moose herds who choose to participate
would have to follow the program requirements of a cooperative State-Federal
program for animal identification, testing, herd management, and movement of
animals into and from herds. The CWD final rule also amended 9 CFR
subchapter C by establishing a new part 81 containing interstate movement
requirements to prevent the spread of CWD.

After publication of the CWD final rule, but before its effective date,
APHIS received three petitions requesting reconsideration of several
requirements of the rule. On September 8, 2006, we published a notice in the
Federal Register (71 FR 52983, Docket No. 00-108-4) that delayed the
effective date of the CWD final rule while APHIS considered those petitions.
On November 3, 2006, we published another notice in the Federal Register (71
FR 64650-64651, Docket No. 00-108-5) that described the nature of the
petitions and made the petitions available for public review and comment,
with a comment period closing date of December 4, 2006. We subsequently
extended that comment

[[Page 14496]]

period until January 3, 2007, in a Federal Register notice published on
November 21, 2006 (71 FR 67313, Docket No. 00-108-6).

We received 77 comments by that date. They were from cervid producer
associations, individual cervid producers, State animal health agencies,
State wildlife agencies, and others.

We have carefully considered the merits of the petitions and of the public
comments received in response to them. We believe that the petitioners and
commenters identified several areas where the CWD final rule could be more
effective or less burdensome, and we believe the CWD final rule could be
improved by making several changes to its requirements. We are therefore
proposing certain changes to the CWD final rule, described below. We plan to
withdraw the 2006 CWD final rule published on July 21, 2006 and issue a
revised final rule based on this proposal and on the CWD final rule, after
evaluating public comments on this proposal.

snip...

We received 77 comments by that date. They were from cervid producer
associations, individual cervid producers, State animal health agencies,
State wildlife agencies, and others. We have carefully considered the merits
of the petitions and of the public comments received in response to them. We
believe that the petitioners and commenters identified several areas where
the CWD final rule could be more effective or less burdensome, and we
believe the CWD final rule could be improved by making several changes to
its requirements. We are therefore proposing certain changes to the CWD
final rule, described below. We plan to withdraw the 2006 CWD final rule
published on July 21, 2006 and issue a revised final rule based on this
proposal and on the CWD final rule, after evaluating public comments on this
proposal.

Reconciling Federal and State Requirements for the Interstate Movement of
Captive Cervids

One goal of the CWD final rule was to provide a consistent, nationwide
standard for the interstate movement of cervids, when such animals are
allowed to move in interstate commerce. For that reason, the CWD final rule
provided a single set of CWD requirements to follow when moving cervids
interstate. These requirements, developed with input from States and
producers, were meant to standardize a variety of differing CWD requirements
and restrictions imposed by States that regulate the entry of cervids from
other States. For example, different States have different requirements for
how long a cervid must have been in a herd subject to CWD monitoring in
order to move, and different requirements for the type of animal
identification required for cervids moving interstate. APHIS continues to
believe that the Federal CWD regulations should provide a consistent,
nationwide set of requirements designed to address CWD risk for cervids that
move interstate. Where the Federal CWD final rule establishes a standard for
a particular aspect of interstate movement of cervids--identification
requirements, for example--the requirement in the Federal CWD final rule
will preempt any inconsistent State requirement. However, as the petitions
and several comments on the petitions stated, the CWD final rule did not
clearly resolve the issue of whether a State has authority to ban the
movement of any farmed or captive cervids into the State due to reasons
other than CWD risks. APHIS has sought and received further information from
States on the nature of their State CWD regulations and the reasons States
have determined such requirements to be necessary. In States that allow
farmed or captive cervids from other States to enter under restrictions,
rather than prohibiting their entry entirely, we found that the purpose of
the CWD restrictions and the methods they employed were similar to the
purpose and methods of the CWD final rule. In almost all cases, we believe
that the requirements in the Federal-State cooperative CWD final rule will
achieve the State goal of allowing interstate movement of farmed or captive
cervids under conditions sufficient to prevent the spread of CWD. In one
case, discussed in the next section of this document titled ``Monitoring
Period Required to Move Cervids Interstate,'' we believe the ``monitoring
period'' requirement currently employed by some States is superior to the
requirement in the CWD final rule, and accordingly we propose to revise the
CWD final rule with respect to the length of time a farmed or captive cervid
moved interstate must have spent in an approved CWD herd certification
program, and thus the length of time it has been subject to monitoring for
CWD and other herd requirements. However, in the course of considering the
petitions and comments on them, APHIS has found that a number of States
prohibit the entry of farmed or captive cervids for a variety of reasons,
and to control a variety of risks, which are unrelated to CWD. State-imposed
bans on the movement of cervids that are unrelated to CWD risks will not be
affected by the CWD final rule. While Federal CWD requirements preempt State
CWD requirements when interstate movement of cervids is allowed, we do not
believe it is necessary to preempt State laws or regulations that prohibit
the entry of farmed or captive cervids for other reasons when States have
articulated sound reasons for such bans. This would include a State that
bans entry of cervids because the State does not have or is phasing out a
farmed or captive cervid industry and States that impose restrictions to
address diseases for which APHIS does not prohibit or restrict interstate
movement. Some States that ban the entry of farmed or captive cervids have
cited concerns about the potential spread of CWD, brucellosis, and
tuberculosis as one reason for the bans. This is not, in the agency's view,
a persuasive reason to maintain a ban, because Federal regulations\1\ are
specifically designed to allow the interstate movement of cervids without
disseminating these diseases. We believe that the proposed Federal CWD
requirements would be effective and, if finalized, would preempt conflicting
State requirements. However, States also cite other reasons for their bans
on the entry of farmed or captive cervids, such as risks from a number of
diseases and parasites associated with cervids. Excluding examples for which
there are already mandatory Federal testing or interstate movement
requirements, the diseases and parasites that support the need for a ban in
some States include epizootic hemorrhagic disease/bluetongue, Johne's
disease, malignant catarrhal fever, and the meningeal worm
(Parelaphostrongylus tenuis). States also base cervid bans on concerns that
farmed or captive cervids could contain undesirable gene sequences that
could be introduced into wild cervid populations if the cervids escape
captivity. These States noted that maintaining the genetic purity of their
native elk and deer populations was important to sportsmen and natural
resource interests. More generally, States with bans cited concerns that
escaped farmed or captive cervids would compete with wild populations for
food and habitat. Some States also cited laws making it illegal to hold in
captivity certain species or breeds of cervids covered by the CWD final
rule. Some States imposed a ban partly to discourage high-fence trophy
hunting operations that depend on continual restocking from out-of State
sources. Finally, some States cited environmental concerns, including
ecosystem degradation resulting from cervids maintained in captivity or
escaped cervids.

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\1\ For interstate movement requirements for cervids and other animals with
respect to these diseases, see 9 CFR part 77 for tuberculosis, 9 CFR part 78
for brucellosis, and 9 CFR part 81 for CWD.

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APHIS has concluded that many of the above concerns are substantive and that
we should propose a way to accommodate State interests in these areas. APHIS
believes that we can best address the concerns of States that have imposed a
ban on the entry of farmed or captive cervids for reasons unrelated to CWD
by changing the CWD final rule to recognize such a ban for those States.
Therefore, we propose to add a new Sec. 81.5 to the CWD final rule to
clarify that state laws and regulations prohibiting the entry of farmed or
captive cervids for reasons unrelated to CWD are not preempted by this part.

snip...

see full text ;

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-7026.htm

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-7026.pdf

SEE FULL TEXT WITH COMMENTS ;

Chronic Wasting Disease Herd Certification Program and Interstate Movement of Farmed or Captive Deer, Elk, and Moose, [Docket No. 00-108-7] RIN 0579-AB35

http://chronic-wasting-disease.blogspot.com/2009/03/chronic-wasting-dise...

TSS