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APHIS to recognize Mexico as free of CSF

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is providing a notice of evaluation that proposes to recognize Mexico as free of classical swine fever (CSF).

APHIS will also withdraw a previous proposed rule that would have recognized a low-risk CSF region in Mexico.

The proposed rule that will be withdrawn was published for comment on July 29, 2014. Since it was published, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recognized Mexico as CSF-free. As a result, Mexico’s government requested that APHIS suspend its rulemaking and instead continue evaluating Mexico’s CSF status. APHIS reopened its evaluation and conducted a site visit in 2015.

Based on the 2015 site visit report, along with updated surveillance data and additional information submitted by Mexico’s government, APHIS determined that current conditions support CSF-free recognition for all of Mexico, the agency said Aug. 7.

This newly proposed action would relieve CSF-specific restrictions on the importation of pork and pork products from Mexico, while continuing to protect the U.S. against this serious swine disease. However, other animal health concerns related to the import of live swine and swine genetics have not yet been evaluated and will still need to be addressed before live swine and swine genetics may be imported from Mexico.

APHIS is inviting public comments on the evaluation for 60 days. APHIS will then review and consider the comments received and make a final determination, which will be published in a later Federal Register notice.

This evaluation will be available for public comment, beginning Aug. 8, in the Federal Register at www.regulations.gov. It may be viewed online today at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2017-16675.pdf. Written comments can also be submitted through the mail: Docket No. APHIS-2016-0038, Regulatory Analysis & Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238.

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