The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an interim final rule pertaining to the establishment of a new herd certification program (HCP) for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
The goal of the program is controlling the spread of the disease, supporting the growing U.S. deer farm industry and complementing existing state CWD programs.
The new program is part of an interim final rule put forth by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that will also establish minimum requirements for interstate movement of deer and elk.
Before the rule can be published in final form, APHIS has issued the interim final rule and requested public comment for the next 30 days on the issue of preemption and the protection of state and local authorities.
The interim final rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
The interim final rule is available at: aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2012/06/pdf/cwd_rule.pdf. Comments must be submitted before July 13.
Interested parties may submit comments by either of the following methods:
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov;
• Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Docket No. 00-108-8, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
"Here in Wisconsin we already have a very robust program for monitoring our deer farms for CWD, so I don't anticipate any significant obstacles to a smooth implementation of the USDA program," says Dr. Robert Ehlenfeldt, state veterinarian for DATCP.
The USDA program will not preempt state or local laws and regulations that are more restrictive than the new regulations.
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