Washington, D.C., May 29, 2019 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is taking steps to make it easier for animal diagnostic laboratories to carry out vital livestock disease testing on behalf of the agency. USDA is proposing to update its regulations that outline how the agency approves laboratories to conduct official testing for animal diseases, as well as how they can remain approved. Currently, the specifics for approval processes are listed in disease-specific sections throughout the animal health regulations and they vary by disease. This proposal would create a single, user-friendly process for laboratory approval and consolidate the existing regulations into one location.
Approved laboratories play a vital role in our animal health efforts, by providing us with proven, accurate results in a specific timeframe. We rely on these laboratories every day to provide clear information about the health status of the nation’s many herds and flocks. The proposed changes will make it easier for laboratories to understand what they need to do to become approved and remain approved to conduct a wide variety of official tests for USDA. Existing approved laboratories would begin using the new process when it is time for their next renewal. USDA would implement the new process for newly-requested approvals immediately.
This proposed rule is on display in today’s Federal Register. It will be available for public comment beginning tomorrow at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0054. Public comments will be accepted until July 29, 2019.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.