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USDA proposes action plan for swine brucellosis, pseudorabies

Action plan outlines a potential new approach to regulation of swine brucellosis and pseudorabies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has drafted a proposed action plan that presents current thinking and concepts about modifications that could be made to its domestic programs for swine brucellosis and pseudorabies.

"This action plan outlines a potential new approach to our regulations," John R. Clifford, deputy administrator for APHIS' Veterinary Services program, said. "We recognize that our animal health status related to these diseases has changed, and we'd like to bring our regulations up to date to address current risks."

No states have had recent outbreaks of either disease in commercial production swine. Therefore, all states are currently considered free for swine brucellosis and pseudorabies, and there are no restrictions on the interstate movement of any swine within the U.S. for these diseases.

In recent years, APHIS has identified several swine herds throughout the U.S. that were infected with swine brucellosis or pseudorabies. None of these herds were commercial production swine and the infections were all attributed to exposure to feral swine or to herds that may have had feral swine exposure, which is reservoir of swine brucellosis and pseudorabies.

APHIS said the proposed action plan incorporates the risk of disease introduction presented by feral swine, which is not addressed in the current regulations.

This proposed action plan details issues with the existing regulations and sets forth a draft regulatory framework to potentially address these issues, to reduce the regulatory burden associated with outmoded provisions of the programs, and to combine the swine brucellosis and pseudorabies programs into one program.

This proposed action plan is published in the Feb. 7 Federal Register at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2010-0086.

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