USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) wants to amend the brucellosis regulations to allow for research on brucellosis-exposed or infected animals. Currently, 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. The current definition of herd includes animals held in a research facility.

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.