Problems Worsen For Leopard Trophy Imports From Mozambique


Published: September - 2011

That Mozambique leopard import problem I warned you about last July has gotten more complicated. You'll recall the reports that John J. Jackson, III, and I filed in the July issues of Conservation Force Bulletin and The Hunting Report (see Article 2686) explaining that US Fish & Wildlife had seized a number of leopard trophies from Mozambique because of a "problem" with the CITES tags on those animals. At that time, Jackson reported that the Mozambican authorities and the CITES Secretariat were in communications with USFWS officials working out a solution that would not require sending all the seized trophies back to Mozambique. Also, Jackson reported that John Meehan of Flora and Fauna Custom Brokerage (http://www.faunaandflora.com/) was working with USFWS agents in New York to get these trophies cleared. All seemed to be on the path to resolution. Things changed in mid-August when officials at USFWS Headquarters instructed New York agents that they could not use their discretion to clear these trophies because of the current issue with the CITES tags attached to them. The issue, you may recall, is that USFWS had passed a regulation requiring that CITES tags show the exporting country's total quota for the species in question in addition to the number of that quota for the animal. For example, 86 of a quota of 250. The country's quota is a matter of public record, is clearly listed on the export documentation and is not necessary to identify the specific animal. It is strictly perfunctory, yet USFWS insists the tiny tags include it. Mozambican and CITES officials are still trying to get USFWS to accept this season's trophies with the current tags in order to prevent forcing hunters to return their shipments to Mozambique for new tags and re-export paperwork. If you have a Mozambique leopard awaiting shipment to the US, put it on hold. If your shipment is already on the way, instruct your clearing agent to return it to either the transiting country, usually South Africa, or back to Mozambique. If you try importing this trophy now it will be seized, and the likelihood that you lose it for good is........(continued)
 
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