The service says the practice distorts their statistics and prevents them from obtaining a clear picture of who is hunting and importing what around the world. To put an end to it, the service has vowed to block all improperly consolidated trophy shipments it detects, allowing only the trophies of the person whose name appears on the register and/or permit to go through. All of the other trophies will have to be sent back to the country of origin for re-export. If that is not possible, or the hunter elects not to do it, the trophies will be seized.
We are indebted to Corporate Sponsor, Carol Rutkowski of Coppersmith for word of this development. She says the service has been threatening a crackdown in this area for some time, and has finally made good on its threat. Last month, she says, an improperly consolidated shipment was blocked in Chicago, and she hears it is the first of a wave of such actions.
The new US Fish and Wildlife Service action, it should be noted, is distinct from a fairly new US Customs automated manifest requirement that all hunters' trophies be shipped in separate crates. That requirement, which went into effect January 2004, addressed only the shipping-crate issue. The new US F&W requirement addresses the larger issue of hunting permits and what are called hunting registers.
In most countries, a separate hunting register is supposed to be filled out for every hunter who goes afield and then wants to export trophies. Almost everywhere, every hunter is also supposed to buy a hunting permit as well. Costs are associated with both documents. Hence the temptation to skirt........(continued)