The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to recognize the Republic of Malta as free of certain significant livestock diseases - swine vesicular disease (SVD), African swine fever (ASF), foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), and rinderpest.
APHIS is also proposing to add the Republic of Malta to the APHIS-defined European Classical Swine Fever (CSF) region.
This change would remove some of the current restrictions on imports of ruminants, breeding swine and their products from Malta.
A related notice has been placed on the U.S. Federal Register.
Malta’s government requested that APHIS evaluate its status of these diseases and in response to this request, APHIS conducted a risk evaluation. After a thorough evaluation, APHIS determined that the surveillance, prevention, and control measures implemented by the European Union (EU) and the Republic of Malta are sufficient to minimize the risk of introducing these diseases into the United States. The evaluation included visits to farms and processing facilities in Malta, as well as examinations of Malta’s capabilities of veterinary control and oversight, disease history and vaccination, livestock demographics and traceability, disease surveillance, and emergency preparedness and response.
APHIS is making this evaluation available for review and comment for 60 days. After APHIS reviews the comments received, the agency will notify the public of its final determination.
Members of the public can view the evaluation and submit comments online. Written comments can also be submitted through the mail: Docket No. APHIS-2015-0102, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.