Importing Ruminant Trophie Problems Due To Mad Cow Disease


Published: April - 2006

If you heard this past month that ruminant trophies from countries having mad cow disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE) cannot be imported into the US except as finished trophies, be aware that APHIS, the agency responsible for this restriction, has relaxed it considerably. Ruminants are even-toed, hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, caribou and deer. Many European countries, among other nations, are classified as having BSE. The prospect of banning un-mounted ruminant trophies from BSE countries alarmed many hunters and posed a grave risk to the American taxidermy industry.

What APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) has done is restrict the ban to what it defines as "commercial" imports of ruminant trophies. Its definition of "commercial" is more than two ruminant trophies in a single shipment. Thus, a hunter who tries to import two ibex, two chamois and a roe deer from a BSE-infected country in a single shipment will not be able to do so. That is precisely what one Hunting Report subscriber tried to do last month, and APHIS ordered his shipment returned to Spain.

Clearly, the revised APHIS policy makes no sense, as two ruminant trophies in a single shipment are as dangerous (or harmless) to the US as three or more. We are at a loss to explain the policy, but hasten to point out that the regulations have the force of law behind them.

Do not attempt to import more than two ruminant trophies of any kind in a single shipment from a country infected with BSE. Generally, most countries in Europe are classified as having BSE. Canada, under APHIS's revised rules, is considered a BSE minimal risk region and is exempt for the above-mentioned ban.

........(continued)

 
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