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USDA PROPOSES TO ADD NAMIBIA TO THE LIST OF REGIONS CONSIDERED FREE OF FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE

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Suzan Holl (301) 734-6464
Jerry Redding (202) 720-4623

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2006-The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to amend its current regulations by adding Namibia, except for the region north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF), to the list of regions considered free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and adding the entire country to the list of regions free of rinderpest.

APHIS has determined that the region of Namibia south of the VCF, is free from FMD, and the entire country is free of rinderpest. Under the proposal, Namibia would still be subject to certain import restrictions for FMD and rinderpest because of its proximity to or trading relationships with regions that are not free of these diseases.

This proposed action would relieve FMD and rinderpest import restrictions on certain live animals and animal products from all regions of Namibia, except the region north of the VCF. Since Namibia is affected with African swine fever, classical swine fever and swine vesicular disease, the importation of live swine, certain pork and pork products into the United States would continue to be restricted.

These actions would update the disease status of Namibia with regard to FMD and rinderpest while continuing to provide additional requirements that protect the United States from an introduction of these diseases.

This proposed rule is scheduled for publication in the June 15 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Aug. 14. Send an original and three copies of postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0037, 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 and, in the "Search Regulations and Federal Actions" box, select "Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service" from the agency drop-down menu; then click on "Submit." In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2005-0037 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., SW, 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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