USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service wants to amend the brucellosis regulations to allow for research on brucellosis-exposed or infected animals. Under current regulations, such research can affect a state's Class Free status, which requires all cattle herds in the state or area be released from quarantine and remain free of brucellosis for 12 consecutive months.

Because the current definition of herd includes animals held in a research facility, a state could lose Class Free status by allowing such research. Providing an exception for brucellosis-exposed or infected animals held within federally approved research facilities would allow necessary brucellosis research in Class Free states.

The deadline for comments is Feb. 12, 2007. Comments can be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov by selecting "Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service'' from the agency drop-down menu, then click "Submit.'' Or send them by mail (original and three copies) to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0183, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. State that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0183.
-- Joe Roybal