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USDA PROPOSES TO ADJUST USER FEES FOR VETERINARY

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Karen Eggert (301) 734-7280
Jerry Redding (202) 720-4623


DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced a proposal to adjust the user fees charged for veterinary diagnostic services. These user fees would be increased incrementally during fiscal years 2008 to 2012 to reflect the anticipated costs associated with providing diagnostic services each year.

APHIS currently charges fees for its veterinary diagnostic services, or the laboratory work involved in identifying and diagnosing disease-causing organisms or chemical agents in animals. Specifically, APHIS is proposing to adjust the fees for the following services:

  • Laboratory tests, reagents and other veterinary diagnostic services performed at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories' (NVSL) Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory;
  • Laboratory tests performed as part of isolation and identification testing at NVSL;
  • Laboratory tests performed as part of serology testing at NVSL;
  • Laboratory tests performed at the pathobiology laboratory at NVSL;
  • Diagnostic reagents produced at NVSL or other authorized sites; and
  • Other diagnostic services or materials provided at NVSL.

In addition to the role veterinary diagnostic services and products play in protecting American agriculture, they enhance livestock production, trade and research. The proposed annual increase of fees will help ensure that the fees accurately reflect the cost of providing these important services.

This proposed rule is scheduled for publication in the July 23 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Sept. 21. Send an original and three copies of postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0161, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238. If you wish to submit a comment using the Internet, go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov, select "Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service" from the agency drop-down menu; then click on "Submit." In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0161 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.

Comments are posted on the Regulations.gov Web site and may also 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: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive APHIS press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to lyris@mdrdlyriss10.aphis.usda.gov and leave the subject blank. In the message, type
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