December 4, 2015 -- The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is preliminarily concurring with the World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIE) bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risk designations for 16 countries. The OIE recognizes these regions as being of negligible risk for BSE. APHIS reviewed the information supporting the OIE’s risk designations for these regions and agrees with the OIE designations.
The 16 countries are: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, India, Korea (Republic of), Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland. The OIE recommendations regarding each of the above countries can be viewed online.
APHIS considers all countries of the world to fall into in one of three BSE risk categories: negligible risk, controlled risk, or undetermined risk. Any region that is not classified by APHIS as presenting either negligible risk or controlled risk for BSE is considered to present an undetermined risk.
Under the regulations, APHIS may classify a region for BSE in one of two ways. One way is for countries that have not received a risk classification from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to request classification by APHIS. The other way is for APHIS to concur with the classification given to a country by the OIE.
This notice is available for review online. APHIS will consider all comments received on or before February 2, 2016. After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our final determination regarding the BSE classification of these countries in the Federal Register.