Status of Shipping Pigeons in the USA

Karen Clifton 405-848-5801
We are pleased to advise members that shipping live animals has returned to normal. All postal employees have been provided with a bulletin directing  them to route live animal shipments per normal procedure (prior to 8/26/01).
The AU has remained in contact with officials of the United States Postal  Service and the other organizations, which are affected by reduction or  elimination of shipping ability. These representatives have been helpful. As  members have encountered difficulty in a certain local area, we have asked  the USPS representatives to get involved.
Normally, within a few days we have been able to provide the name and  number of the appropriate supervisor to correct the situation and expedite  shipping at the local post office or airmail facility. If you encounter a problem  while attempting to ship birds, please refer the postal employees to the United States Postal Bulletin, dated December 13, 2001.
This is the information directing them to continue live animal shipping as it was prior to Aug 26, 2001. This bulletin is also available for viewing and to  download on the USPS website at ( (also see bulletin below).
You may want to retrieve a copy to take with you when going to the post  office to ship. It may take a few days for the USPS bulletin to reach all USPS employees, so please be patient. If you continue to encounter problems,  please do not hesitate to contact your national office. We will continue to  assist so that live bird shipments can be made.
Your national AU office and Board of Directors is continuing to monitor the situation and to stay actively involved to preserve the legislation that will allow  future shipments. The AU is also continuing to seek alternative methods of  shipment and will continue to keep you updated via Internet and the magazines.
On behalf of the AU, we appreciate your patience and the willingness so many of you have displayed to help get this situation resolved.

Temporary Embargo Lifted on Acceptance of Live Animals Effective  November 14, 2001, the temporary embargo imposed on the acceptance  and transport of live animals, including day-old poultry , on September 1,  2001, is lifted.
Live animals may be tendered and accepted for mailing at local Post Offices  provided that the contents of the shipping container can be visually inspected. However large shippers and geographically isolated shippers should continue  to contact their nearest airport mail center/facility to determine network  availability, schedules, and capacity.
We encourage all live animal shippers to deal directly with the airport mail  center/facility that

(1) streamlines the process by reducing staging time and
(2) eliminates potential plan failures.

Commercial Air Operations, Network Operations Management 12-13-01  Back to Mainpage
And from the NPA:

Express Mailing of pigeons has been reinstated! For complete details click on the image to the left of this paragraph and visit the AU Website. Once there, look for and click on the identical image at the top of the page to view this very important article. Give special attention to the new requirement that shipping containers offer provision for viewing contents.
Postal Regulations 
526.41 General Adult turkeys, guinea fowl, doves, pigeons, pheasants, partridges, quail, ducks, geese, swans, and chickens are mailable when properly packaged. Adult fowl must be packaged without food or water because liquids, moisture, and loose foodstuffs can cause damage to the shipping container, other mail, and postal equipment during transport. 526.42 Mailability Requirements
The following conditions apply:
a. Adult birds. The specific types of adult fowl listed in 526.41 (except adult chickens) and DMM C022.3.3 are mailable only when sent by Express Mail in biologically secure containers approved by the Manager, Business Mail Acceptance, USPS Headquarters. The number of adult birds per mailpiece must be within the container manufacturer limits, and each adult bird must weigh more than 6 ounces.
A list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the companies that manufacturer USPS-approved biologically secure containers is published periodically in the Postal Bulletin and can also be obtained from your RCSC.
b. Adult chickens. Adult chickens are mailable only when sent by Express Mail in containers designed to pass the standards in International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) Test Procedure 1A (detailed in Publication 2, Packaging for Mailing). The number of adult chickens per mail piece must be within the container manufacturer limits.
Containers used to mail adult chickens must meet each of the following requirements:

  • (1) Be designed to remain intact during normal postal processing.
  • (2) Be constructed to totally confine the adult chickens.
  • (3) Contain shavings or other absorbent material to prevent damage to the bottom of the container.
  • (4) Be ventilated properly to ensure humane treatment of the adult chickens while in transit.

526.43 Claims for Adult Fowl Indemnity claims for mailable types of adult birds and chickens sent via Express Mail service are paid only for loss, damage, or rifling, and not for death of the animals while in transit if there is no visible damage to the mailing container. See DMM C022 and S010
What you can do.
Ship only in authorized containers when mailing pigeons through the USPS and shipping on airlines.
Bird Shippers of America visit this website to see the efforts of the poultry hatcheries.
What the NPA is doing.
Officers of the NPA are watching this situation closely. We are in contact with the management of the USPS on a regular basis. Should anything change we will post that information on this page.  The NPA Board has agreed to join the Bird Shippers of America and has pledged $100 towards the efforts to restore shipping of pigeons in the USA.

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