USDA CHANGES DISEASE STATUS OF ARMENIA

US Fed News
January 7, 2008 Monday 1:05 AM EST

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service has issued the following press release:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS) today issued an interim rule amending its animal import
regulations by adding Armenia to the list of regions where African
swine fever (ASF) exists. This rule is retroactive to Aug. 29, 2007.

APHIS is taking this action in response to several confirmed outbreaks
of ASF in Armenia.

To prevent the introduction of ASF into the United States, USDA
regulates the importation of pork or pork products from any country
where the disease exists. Pork or pork products from those countries
only can enter the United States if:

(1) The product has been fully cooked by a commercial method in a
container hermetically sealed promptly after filling but before such
cooking, so that such cooking and sealing produced a fully-sterilized
product which is shelf-stable without refrigeration; and

(2) The processing establishment complies with the requirements for
further processing of such pork or pork product by heat.

In addition, a certificate accompanying the product and strict
quarantine and inspection practices are required at U.S. ports
of entry.

ASF is one of the most destructive diseases of pigs worldwide. It
is a contagious, usually fatal viral disease of swine. The acute
forms are characterized by high fever in the animal, reddening of the
skin, pronounced hemorrhages in lymph nodes and internal organs and
enlargement of the spleen. The disease does not affect other animals
or people.

Notice of this action was published in the Jan. 7 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before March
7. Send an original and three copies of postal mail or commercial
delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0142, Regulatory Analysis
and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit
118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Comments can be submitted on-line,
go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov,
select "Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service" from the agency
drop-down menu; and then click on "Submit." In the Docket ID column,
select APHIS-2007-0142 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 also can be
viewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence
Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday
through Friday, excluding holidays. Please call (202) 690-2817 to
facilitate entry into the comment reading room.