Animal-Product Import Ban Announced


Published: October - 2001

Now, here's a troubling development! Seems the US Department of Agriculture (specifically, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) is in the process of implementing an animal-product import ban that may stop the flow of un-mounted deer trophies into the US from 35 countries around the world, including most of the major hunting countries in western and eastern Europe. The ban, which technically applies to all ruminants (not just deer), would not affect trophies that have already been mounted by taxidermists.

The move, which caught the hunting community by surprise late last month, poses a great threat to the US taxidermy industry and promises to complicate the lives of US hunters who pursue their sport in Europe. If the ban is extended into Africa and other parts of the world, which is considered possible at this point, it could destroy the US taxidermy industry and become a major disincentive for hunters to venture abroad at all.

The new animal-product import ban is designed to prevent the spread of Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) into the US. Un-mounted trophies are being banned, according to an official at APHIS, because it is considered dangerous to drill or sand the bones, horns or antlers of animals that could be infected with Mad Cow Disease. The resultant dust, or particles of material, is said to be a possible vector of disease.

The official we spoke with at APHIS, Dr. Morris, said the ban on un-mounted trophies from Europe was already in effect. It is official policy, she said, to return un-mounted trophies to their port of origin - presumably at the shipper's expense. Anyone with a pending trophy shipment from Europe containing ruminants may want to take appropriate action.

On the other hand, no one we spoke with at press time in the trophy-shipment industry had even heard of the new ban. "It hasn't gotten down to our level," is the way John Meehan of Fauna and Flora (718-244-0943) put it September 28. Meehan clears thousands of trophies a year through airports in........(continued)

 
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