Deadline for comments extended to Dec. 9
The American Sheep Industry Association has confirmed that a 30-day extension has been approved for the filing of comments on the proposed changes to the scrapie regulation. Comments will be considered through Dec. 9.
The formal notice extending the comment period will be in the Federal Register this week.
The Federal Register notice proposing changes to scrapie regulations by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was posted in September. The ammendments would make the identification and record-keeping requirements for goat owners consistent with those for sheep owners but does not change the intrastate goat identification exemptions for consistent states.
A change to the definition of high-risk animals and adding a definition for low-risk exposed animals is recommended to expand the use of genetic testing in classifying sheep and provide more flexibility when determining animal designations under the regulations. This change will also allow APHIS to relieve requirements for sheep and goats exposed to scrapie types, such as Nor98-like scrapie, that do not pose a significant risk of transmission.
The proposed changes also increase flexibility for how investigations can be conducted and require states to meet surveillance minimums based on the number of breeding sheep and goats in the state to remain Consistent States. Additional information on the proposed rule and the draft Program Standards is available at AnimalAgriculture.org/scrapie/scrapie.htm
ASI has long supported the eradication of scrapie from the United States and appreciates the work of APHIS, state animal health officials, markets, dealers, producers, equipment manufacturers and others who have made contributions to the progress that has been made towards eradication. In general, ASI believes the amendments proposed by APHIS have been carefully considered and are appropriate.
ASI's detailed comments are available at www.sheepusa.org/IssuesPrograms_AnimalHealth_Scrapie.
Sheep and goat producers and other interested parties are encouraged to offer comments to this proposed rule and are welcome to use all or parts of ASI's draft comments in doing so.
Comments can be submitted at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2007-0127.
Here is a link to the latest Scrapie: Eradicate It newsletter: