April 15, 2007


 APHIS tweaks proposal for two tiers of accreditation

Posted April 1, 2007

The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has outlined possible changes to its original proposal for revamping the National Veterinary Accreditation Program.

The plan is still to establish two accreditation categories in place of the current single category. Under the original proposal, Category I accreditation would have authorized veterinarians to perform regulatory tasks on animals that people commonly keep as pets. Category II accreditation would have authorized veterinarians to perform regulatory tasks on all animals.

Comments on the original proposal led APHIS to reconsider the division between the accreditation categories. Some household pets are susceptible to diseases for which APHIS has control or eradication programs. Pet birds are susceptible to poultry diseases such as avian influenza, for example, and pot-bellied pigs are susceptible to the same diseases as farm-raised swine.

Under the supplemental proposal, Category I accreditation would authorize veterinarians to perform regulatory tasks primarily on cats and dogs—plus some exotic pets other than birds. Category I accreditation would not apply to food or fiber animals, horses, farm-raised fish, poultry, other livestock, or birds or zoo animals that can transmit diseases to livestock. Category II accreditation would still authorize veterinarians to perform regulatory tasks on all animals.

The supplemental proposal also outlined other changes to the original proposal, including a requirement for all veterinarians seeking accreditation to complete initial training in addition to a core orientation. However, the supplemental proposal would reduce the amount of training necessary for renewal of accreditation every three years. For renewal of Category II accreditation, veterinarians would complete six training units. For Category I, the requirement would be three training units.

The full text of the supplemental proposal appeared in a Feb. 27 notice in the Federal Register, which is available at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.

Parties may submit comments until April 30 by visiting www.regulations.gov, searching under Agency for APHIS, and looking under Docket ID for APHIS-2006-0093; or by mailing four copies to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0093, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238.

More information is available by visiting www.aphis.usda.gov or by contacting Dr. Todd Behre, National Veterinary Accreditation Program, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 200, Riverdale, MD 20737; phone, (301) 734–0853.