USDA To Exempt Pigeons, Doves From Bird Flu Import Rule



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USDA to Exempt Pigeons, Doves from Bird Flu Import Rulebird flu, pigeons, pigeons importation, importation of birds, dovesThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to exclude pigeons and doves from a rule that prohibits the importation of birds and poultry from countries where highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) exists and is seeking public comments on the change.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to exclude pigeons and doves from a rule that prohibits the importation of birds and poultry from countries where highly pathogenic avian influenza exists and is seeking public comment.newslineUSDA to Exempt Pigeons, Doves from Bird Flu Import RulePosted: June 12, 2012, 3:15 p.m. EDT

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to exclude pigeons and doves from a rule that prohibits the importation of birds and poultry from countries where highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) exists and is seeking public comments on the change.

In an effort to minimize the risk of HPAI spreading to the United States, the USDA published an interim rule in January 2011 prohibiting the importation of live birds or poultry that have moved through a region where any form of HPAI exists. Some strains of the virus may be able to spread rapidly through dogs and isn’t unheard of in cats, either.

USDA considers expemting doves and pigeons from bird flu import rule
Since issuing the original rule, the USDA reviewed several studies that showed pigeons and other Columbiform species, such as doves, have a very low risk of being infected by HPAI viruses, leading the agency to its current action of excluding Columbiform species from the rule.

The full rule can be read and comments can be submitted through July 12, 2012, on the website Regulations.gov.

In other news, APHIS is soliciting comments how it solicits information from facilities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act.

Regulated facilities are required to keep records and provide information regarding health and feeding, housing, space, transportation, exercise, perimeter fencing, marine mammal interactive programs and programs of veterinary care.

APHIS estimates that responses take about 18 minutes to complete and that facilities complete about 15 responses per year. The agency is soliciting comments on whether or not its load estimates are accurate, as well as ways to improve the information collection process. Comments can be submitted at regulations.gov through Aug. 13, 2012.

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