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News & Events:
Posted by Carl Franklin on January 29, 2002 at 17:59:42:
Hi I've noticed a few postings regarding couriers and reptiles. The US postal service does provide a great service which I regularly use for my clients, however there are some restrictions. (no snakes, turtles, or venomous arachnids, except scorpions for medical use). It is leagal to ship harmless cold blooded animals through the USPS and this even includes alligators under 22 inches! Many people may be unaware that the US postal service regularly ships thousands of live chicks and rodents as well. UPS will ship non venomous snakes, however they are often reluctant at first. In fact I was shipping a boa yesterday with them and was met with resistance. The supervisor tried to disuade me by showing a list of prohibited items. As I looked over the list I noticed it was a list of items prohibited for international shipments. After an hour and a half my persistence paid off and I was told of a policy they have for live animals that involves UPS receiving written authorization from the recipient of the animal indicating that they are willing to accept the sent package.
I was also told that I could no longer drop off animals at the customer service counter and had to have a driver pick up the order from my address at a specified time. The rules I was provided with yesterday are a lot more strict than any I've ever come across with UPS and it may also be due to the fact that I was making my inquiry at a centralized hub.
As far as the US postal service is concerned visit their web site www.usps.com and look under perishable items. Under this heading they have all of their regulations for shipping animals.
I hope this helped clear the issue a bit.
What I don't like about the UPS service is that there is no way of knowing how long an animal will be "bouncing" around a hot or cold truck. Perviously I dropped off my orders towards the end of the day to intentionally reduce transit time.
Do not be intimidated by someone behind a counter who gives an automatic and emphatic "no" to a shipping request. Go to the websites and arm yourself with their information.