9 CFR § 79.4 - Designation of scrapie-positive animals, high-risk animals, exposed animals, suspect animals, exposed flocks, infected flocks, noncompliant flocks, and source flocks; notice to owners.
(a) Designation. Based on a classification investigation as defined in § 79.1, including testing of animals, if needed, a designated scrapie epidemiologist will designate a flock to be an exposed flock, an infected flock, a source flock, a flock under investigation, and/or a non-compliant flock, or designate an animal to be a scrapie-positive animal, high-risk animal, exposed animal, genetically susceptible exposed animal, genetically resistant exposed sheep, genetically less susceptible exposed sheep, low-risk exposed animal, and/or a suspect animal after determining that the flock or animal meets the criteria of the relevant definition in § 79.1.
(b) Redesignation. A reclassification investigation as defined in § 79.1 may be conducted to determine whether the current designated status of a flock or animal may be changed or removed. Reclassification investigations will be initiated and conducted, and redesignation decisions will be made, in accordance with procedures approved by the Administrator. These procedures are available at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal-health/scrapie.
(c) Testing and notification procedures. Any animal that may be a high-risk animal, any animal that may have been exposed to the lambing of a high-risk animal, any suspect animal, and any animal that was born in the flock after a high-risk animal may have lambed may be selected for testing by the DSE or an APHIS or State representative working under the direction of a DSE or the Administrator. Which animals are selected and the method of testing selected animals will be based on the risk associated with the flock and the type and number of animals available for test. When flock records are adequate to determine that all high-risk animals that lambed in the flock are available for testing, the testing may be limited to postmortem testing of all high-risk and suspect animals. Testing may also include an official genotype test, live-animal testing using a live-animal official test, the postmortem examination and testing of genetically susceptible animals in the flock that cannot be evaluated by a live animal test, postmortem examination of other animals, and postmortem examination and testing of animals found dead or cull animals at slaughter. Animals may not be tested for scrapie to establish the designation of the flock until they are test eligible. Animals are generally considered test eligible when the animals are over 14 months of age if born after the exposure or are 18 months post exposure. If testing these animals is necessary to establish the status of a flock they must be held for later testing unless sent directly to slaughter or a terminal feedlot.
(1) Noncooperation. If an owner does not make his or her animals available for testing within 60 days of notification by an APHIS or State representative, within 60 days of becoming test eligible, or as mutually agreed in writing by the Administrator and the owner, or fails to submit required postmortem samples, the flock will be designated a source, infected, or exposed flock, whichever definition applies and a noncompliant flock.
(2) Notice to owner. As soon as possible after making a designation or redesignation determination, a State or APHIS representative will attempt to notify the owner(s) of the flock(s) or animal(s) in writing of the designation.
(3) Appeal. The owner of an animal may appeal the designation of an animal as a scrapie-positive animal, high-risk animal, exposed animal, genetically susceptible exposed animal, genetically resistant exposed sheep, genetically less susceptible exposed sheep, low-risk exposed animal, or a suspect animal. The owner of a flock may appeal the designation of the flock as an exposed flock, an infected flock, a source flock, a flock under investigation, or a non-compliant flock. The owner of a laboratory or test manufacturing facility may appeal the suspension or withdrawal of approval for a laboratory or a test. To do so, the owner must appeal by writing to the Administrator within 10 days after being informed of the reasons for the proposed action. The appeal must include all of the facts and reasons upon which the owner relies to show that the proposed action is incorrect or is not supported. The Administrator will grant or deny the appeal in writing as promptly as circumstances permit, stating the reason for his or her decision. If there is a conflict as to any material fact, a hearing will be held to resolve the conflict. Rules of practice concerning the hearing will be adopted by the Administrator. The action under appeal shall continue in effect pending the final determination of the Administrator, unless otherwise ordered by the Administrator. The final determination of the Administrator shall become effective upon oral or written notification, whichever is earlier, to the owner. In the event of oral notification, written confirmation shall be given as promptly as circumstances allow. The Administrator's final determination constitutes final agency action.