USFWS Seizes Namibia Leopard Trophies with Etched CITES Tags


Published: October - 2011

US Fish & Wildlife (USFWS) has seized two Namibia leopard trophies because the quota information on the CITES tags was hand-etched instead of stamped. John Meehan of Fauna & Flora Customhouse Brokerage informed me that USFWS agents in New York had held up the importation of the two leopards for some weeks while they waited for word from headquarters on whether the tags were acceptable. In mid-September he was told, "A decision has been made that this does not comply with CITES." The legally-taken leopards were subsequently seized by USFWS agents. According to John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force, the CITES regulations (Res. 10.14 and Rev. COP 14) and the USFWS 2007 code governing what should be on leopard tags are identical and merely say the information should be "indicated" on the tag. It does not specify either the quality or the kind of indication. It appears the insistence that it be printed in a particular way is beyond the regulation and completely arbitrary. At least one of the hunters involved has contracted Jackson to represent him on this matter. Immediately, US hunters planning to import a leopard from Namibia should contact their shipping broker and check on how their CITES tag is completed. If the tag has been engraved rather than stamped, you should hold your trophy in Namibia until this new requirement has been addressed by Namibian authorities. We will keep you posted on any further developments. As for those leopard trophies from Mozambique, Debbie Peake of Mochaba Developments (debbie@mochaba.net) says they are working to get the permits reprinted according to the requirements of USFWS. You'll recall the problem there was that the permits did not show the total quota of leopard for Mozambique as well as the number the tagged trophy represented from the quota. Peake was optimistic that the new tags would be available very soon. "Please assure Hunting Report readers that we will not export any leopard trophies until we get clearance from the relevant USFWS and point-of-entry broker to ship," she wrote me.

........(continued)

 
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