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USDA PROPOSES TO UPDATE TESTING REGULATIONS FOR - _

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Jim Rogers (202) 690-4755
Jerry Redding (202) 720-4623

U.S. CATTLE EXPORTS

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to amend its livestock exportation regulations to eliminate the U.S. requirement for pre-export tuberculosis and brucellosis testing.

The proposed changes would no longer require pre-export testing for cattle from any tuberculosis accredited-free or brucellosis class-free state and for exports to countries that do not require testing.

APHIS is proposing this action to relieve restrictions on certain exports of U.S. cattle to Canada for which testing is no longer necessary. Canadian animal health authorities have recognized our success in eradicating brucellosis, tuberculosis and other diseases by establishing the Restricted Feeder Cattle Program, which allows certain untested feeder cattle to be imported into Canada. To participate in this program, the feeder cattle must originate from a state that has been designated by APHIS as brucellosis and tuberculosis free.

In addition, should other countries importing U.S. cattle suspend or remove their testing requirements, this proposal would ensure that U.S. cattle exporters receive the full benefits of no longer being required to perform pre-export tests.

Currently all states are designated accredited-free for tuberculosis except Minnesota, Texas and portions of Michigan and New Mexico, and all states except Idaho and Texas are designated as class free for brucellosis.

Notice of this proposed rule is published in the Jan. 10 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before March 13. Send an original and three copies of postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0147, 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-2006-0147 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 viewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:40 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 690-2817.

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