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USDA DELAYS IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW LIVE FISH IMPORT AND INTERSTATE MOVEMENT REGULATIONS TO PREVENT SPREAD OF VIRAL HEMORRHAGIC SEPTICEMIA

            WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2008--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that it is delaying implementation of the interim rule establishing specific conditions for the importation and interstate movement of live fish to prevent the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS).  The interim rule will now be implemented on Jan. 9, 2009, instead of Nov. 10, 2008.  This delay will allow APHIS time to consider all comments and make adjustments to the interim rule that may be necessary for successful implementation.

            VHS is a highly contagious disease of some fresh and saltwater fish that is not harmful to humans.  The interim rule will continue to permit the interstate movement of live VHS-regulated fish from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states where VHS has been detected or that are at immediate risk of being affected, if certain requirements are met to prevent the spread of the disease.

            This action is published in the Oct. 28, 2008, Federal Register and becomes effective Jan. 9, 2009.

            Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Nov. 10, 2008.  Send two copies of postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0038, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.  Comments can be submitted on the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/
component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0038
.

            Comments are posted on the Reglations.gov Web site and also can be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 690-2817.

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Note to Reporters:  Public notices and other APHIS information are available on the Internet.  Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov and click on the “Newsroom” button.  For additional information about this topic contact Madelaine Fletcher at (301) 734-6125 or by e-mail at madelaine.fletcher@aphis.usda.gov.      

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