Imported Safaris in jeopardy due to USDA regulation changes

Submitted by Evelyn on 7/8/06 at 11:04 AM. ( )

It has come to my attention that the USDA is wanting to impose new regulations and import restrictions on overseas safaris, including African Safaris due to the threat of Anthrax. It is my understanding that they will require hunters going to Africa and other countries to either get all the hides double dipped (once overseas and then again in the US for an exorbitant fee)or possible not even allow hides to enter this country at all anymore.

Double dipping hides is going to make bringing hides back to the US so costly, that hunters will have to have their animals mounted overseas which would be more cost effective for them. This will mean loss of income and business for taxidermists all over the US. If the USDA is going to push for a complete import ban on hides, this could lead to the closing of many taxidermy studios who rely on those hides to be mounted up in their studios. We are talking major economic losses here.

I understand the SCI is working on this at this very moment. How come the NTA and the individual state organizations are not even talking about this? This is probably the most serious threat to our industry besides CWD. And it could be an economic disaster for all taxidermists if those regulations get pushed through by the USDA.

I want to know what the NTA board, who has been made aware of this, is going to do about it. So far there has been complete silence on this issue. I think it needs to be discussed at the NTA convention membership meeting, as this is a very important issue.

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NEW USDA Regualations?

This response submitted by Buzzi Cook on 7/8/06 at 11:36 AM. ( )

Evelyn...where can I find backup information regarding your statement. I have found an influx of shipments being diverted my way from trophy shipments arriving here in Seattle from anywhere outside of the US coming through this Port of Entry. Yet the USDA has not informed me of any new treatments for any countries not listed previously.

Haven't heard anything of it

This response submitted by * on 7/8/06 at 12:12 PM. ( )

Want to know who is up on it more than anyone?..., contact your import/export broker/ coppersmith, flora and fuana, wecso, ect. and quit guessing,listening to rumor or mis-reading articles.
If there are changes in the works or any changes occur "THEY" are the first to know.
And can be a wealth of information about it.

For one thing

This response submitted by RJ Simington on 7/8/06 at 12:35 PM. ( )

As the animal skins are prossessd in Africa they are not dipped in anything.
They charge a Dip & pack fee, which meens they are charging to boil skulls & horns & package your skins for shipping.

The requirement is that ALL Shipments From Africa & several other countries that are coming into this country MUST go to a USDA Aproved Facility before it will be cleared to be mounted or to be given to the customer.

Not all the skins will have to be dipped , only the ones designated by the USDA Vetenarian in charge of that facility.

The charge comes in because We that have the permit have to keep records , We are the ones to open & handle the crates ( which sometimes is a real mess in our shops), next we have top make all the phone calls , & mst of the time store the whole crate in our secure facility until the vet gets back to us . That sometimes takes weeks.

If you get several shipments a year in from out of the country it might be worth you paying for the expensive permit every year.

Anouther thing, I have a shipment in my studio now for anouther taxidemist that came in from New Zealand & USDA put a Quaranteen on it & made the guy send it to an Aproved Facility.

It is up to the decision of the USDA representative that inspects the crate if it will have to go to a Aproved taxidermist or not.

I clear several shipments a year for other taxidermists & charge $500.each hunter. that might sound like a lot of money but it is a lot of head ache also.

Believe me when I tell you this is just going to get worse to import into our country.

"*", might better start practicing what you're preaching

This response submitted by George on 7/8/06 at 12:36 PM. ( )

Coppersmith actually DID release the information Evelyn is talking about and referenced it to Conservation Force and SCI.

If you recall my infamous posting a few weeks back, sudden OTHERS are taking a look at taxidermists. A remark in the information was that SCI, CF, nor any of the agents were willing to spend their money on issues that TAXIDERMISTS DIDN'T SEEM CONCERNED ABOUT. Though I'm sure some who read that message overlooked the insinuation, it was there for everyone to read. Taxidermists traditionally and continually just stick their heads in the sand and allow "someone else" to fight their battles. It surely looks as if we truly are shooting ourselves in the foot.

Right this second, CWD is going to be used by animal rights activists to close down intra-state taxidermy work. Soon, state legislatures are going to forbid transport out or in of state boundaries. Instead of the hue and cry we SHOULD be making as an industry, the effected states taxidermists remain smug in their not losing work "out of state". New Zealand, Africa, and Canada will soon rejoice in that as well. Europe already has to a large degree. (One of my best customers went to Austria last year and took a roebuck. Instead of the USDA hassle, he left it there to be mounted. He got it back a few months ago and is was simply "average" to "less than average" American taxidermy work. Cost, including shipping of the fox sized pedestal mount: $1250. He actually called me and wanted me to soothe his wounds, but I didn't help him much.)

That's why it is imperative that state associations continue and prosper. That's why we desperately NEED a national voice. But if you ask me what I think of the prospects, I'm just not that hopeful that it will happen. Just like this post, taxidermists often shoot the messengers and ignore the message.


This response submitted by Evelyn on 7/8/06 at 2:24 PM. ( )

The dipping regulations you stated are correct as of NOW. The USDA is trying to change all that due to the threat of anthrax(?). They are pushing to regulate that all hides must be dipped in Africa and then again here in the US at the hunters expense, or that all import of foreign hides will be BANNED completely to enter the US unless they are MOUNTED up overseas.

I know you do a lot of African work R.J. This would effect you tremendously if all your hunters would start getting their animals mounted in Africa. It would affect nearly every single taxidermy studio there is. Think of the implications this could have. Throw in the restrictions they are trying to push with the CWD and we'll all might as well close up shop.

The Conservation Force and SCI are working with the USDA on this at the very moment. I brought it up because there has been silence about this. Sort of under the radar kind of deal. I guess they are trying to push the new regulations through before the majority of hunters and taxidermy studios find out about it and create a stir.

That's what's needed here. A major stir. We need to speak up NOW against any of those USDA regulations or we'll all be out of business.
How many people have you heard of in the US who came down with anthrax? Anthrax is fairly common in the US and at times runs rampant throughout the deer population here in TX. They cull the deer and by the time winter comes the anthrax has gone due to the colder temperatures in the ground. I still never heard of a single case of a human getting anthrax from deer or cattle.

Seems a bit like either overkill or political correctness what the USDA is trying to do here. Makes you wonder if this crap is funded by PETA and the rest of the animal rights activists. It sure doesn't make any sense to me.

Thanks for backing me up George.

New regs?

This response submitted by Randy on 7/9/06 at 12:05 AM. ( )

Evelyn, having the requirement to Redip hides here in the USA is really not that big of deal. It has allready been a requirement for all shipments that come in from certian countries and all that have any primates or hogs. That makes about 75% of all my past African shipments require redipping here in the USA. I really do not think it is an econimic mess. You just need to be prepaired and educated. Either get your own USDA approval or have your clients shipments shipped directly to A USDA tannery and avoid the hassels all together. Any good broker can clear your trophy shipments thru customes and have them routed to the USDA tannery or a USDA taxidermist for redipping. Many of the better tannerys are USDA approved and do not charge any extra for redipping your hides if you use their tannery, Yes they charge nothing and the hassel factor is quite minimal.

I see that RJ charges $500? I get mine done for free by my tannery for free, so if the USDA make all shipments go to a USDA facility, quite frankly it will not affect me much because they go there anyway.

If they go as far as state to state transfur of animals then yes that is a much bigger problem that we all should look at very closly and so should the NTA. But I would not hold my breath and wait for the NTA based on past issues handled by the NTA.

As for RJ saying that they do not Dip hides in anything in Africa? I have been to numerous Dip and Pack facilities in Africa on my many visits and they all dip every hide and boil, clean and dip every skull. They are required to dip each item in a pickle soultion of some kind and then flesh any meat off the hide that the outiffiter missed. So yes they do dip them in Africa, at least every one that I have seen do.

For sure we need to watch this issue, If the animal rights and animal wacos get their way I am sure that they may use somthing of this sort to make it tough on us, We just need to pay attention and hopefull the NTA will see this for what it is and act accordingly.


The days of work from out of state are numbered!

This response submitted by NOT Important on 7/9/06 at 12:52 AM. ( )

Big money, big business and BIG CONTROL. Forget it! All of you "taxidermists" that seem to depend so heavily on African work, better start to diversify real quick.

George is right. There is a "PLAN" to shut down interstate wildlife business. The days of taxidermist receiving work from OUT OF STATE, ARE NUMBERED!

another point

This response submitted by Gary Pegg Australia on 7/9/06 at 9:26 AM. ( )

As an exporter of trophies raw and mounted to the USA from Australia, recenet changes have required us to use crates made of manufactured timber.MDF, particle board or ply, no more timber that has not been fully processed.
We must send consignments into the USA through designated ports of entry for USFWS reasons, and inspections by USDA.
Often shipments are designated directly to the big tanneries for processing, then on to the taxidermist.

Australia has required for years that all high risk imports from countries like Africa, Europe and yes USA and Canada too, be dipped on arrival. It hasnt created any economical hardship, and leaving trophies elsewhere to be mounted is far more expensive in freight insurance and duties on importation than paying less than a trophy fee on a common plains-game animal for dipping work to be done.
Personally, ld rather ensure everything is treated at both ends at a cost to the client rather than place my staff and my own health at risk.Needless to say you guys should keep your finger on the pulse so this doesnt blow out unmonitored.

Randy is correct

This response submitted by * on 7/9/06 at 9:55 AM. ( )

I Have never seen tanner, that is a USDA approved facility ever charge $500 for accepting a in-bound shipment.
They do it for "FREE".
All listed species that are required to reprocess here ( and have never been charged one thin dime for that either ), baboon , monkey, swine are done now at that location here in the states.
RJ is "wrong" that skins are not DIPPED in Africa, I also like Randy have been on site in multiple taxidermy studios and dip and pack plants and seen it done.
Dipped for 24 hours in a control pickle, and insecticide per requirements, checked for excess meat and fat ,dried again for importaion to in-bound country, Then Vet. inspected.
I do see a doomsday if all raw skins not allowed in, That's scarry beyond belief. 75% of my business. But as for processing of all skins raw again in this counrty We need to be aligned with our tanners that are USDA approved.
Can you image this..., no intra state shipping of raw skins to your tanner unless your local skins are dippped by an approved facility?
Where and when will it end?
Call your congressman and senator? Concern... enough jobs are lost in this country everyday by businesses moving and hiring $5.00 a day labor. Let them know that the USDA what's to "FORCE" American's to pay that to African Businesses for taxidermy and "GIVE" American jobs away if they approve this.
George is correct, I am now aware,thank you for your emails, I will make my calls on Monday then Tuesday then Weds... will you?
Back up SCI and Conservation Force, let them know you are there ask what to do, The time spent here could be used for them.

and the bottom line...?

This response submitted by - on 7/9/06 at 11:48 AM. ( )

If the hunter can afford $5000 for the safari, $2000 for the trophy fee per animal, "who knows how much" for tannery & mounting fees, and at least $500 for import brokerage in to the USA on top of shipping costs!, the hunter sure as heck can afford an extra $100 or so of double dipping fees.

"-" your right

This response submitted by * on 7/9/06 at 12:07 PM. ( )

I'm just worried about total stopage of imported raw skins.
African taxidermy is bad enough if they get it all and overlaoded it's even going to be worse.

George, A national voice? What a laugh!

This response submitted by ** on 7/9/06 at 12:53 PM. ( )


You mention about a "national voice" for taxidermists and hunters? Now just where are we going to find HONEST and RELIABLE people for that? Darn sure is NOT the NTA or any other current organisation!

Kim, I thought you wanted to play nice

This response submitted by George on 7/9/06 at 1:15 PM. ( )

Oh well, so much for that. The NTA is changing to meet these needs. Obviously you have some other organization better suited ot voice the opinions of TAXIDERMISTS and since SCI and CF have both said that they will show concern only when WE show some, would you mind telling all these fine people who YOU would nominate to speak for us?

I Worked in a Taxidermists

This response submitted by RJ Simington on 7/9/06 at 1:20 PM. ( )

shop in Graaff-Rienet South Africa for 3 weeks in 2002 & 2 weeks in 2004.
Not ONE skin was ever Dipped in any solution & they sure as heck didnt flesh them .I also went to Taxidermy Africas shop , SAME THING, No dipping of any skin. They will wash the blood out of the hair on some of them & thats plain Salt water.
I recieve on average about 20 African shipments a year & I do my own tanning & again Not One place has completely fleshed the skins.
All they do is turn the ears half way usualy & some times they split the lips.. Thats it.
I have recieved shipments from countries like Tanzania ,Zim, & Botswana,Mosambique, That didnt even boil the skulls. They let the Tiger fish eat the flesh off.
Every Warthog that has come in has got all kinds of fat on the skin.

As for tanneries being free to recieve your shipment CALL NEW METHOD: They charge Recieving fee, Dipping fee of each animal, Recrating fee for your horns & then you get to pay some more shipping to get those to your shop, Then you get to put up with all the slipping & cut holes that just apeared (because they didnt do it.)Wildlife Fur Dressing in California is anouther one that charges a fee & I know there are SEVERAL More. I can guarantee you will be getting to pay atleast $500. if you use one of these tanneries after you add all the stuff together.

A lot of us do our own tanning so sending to a tannery is an added expence in it self.
I have had my Aproved Facility static for 8 years & I maintain it for Myself & MY customers.
My customers pay nothing for clearance because it is a service that is included in their mounting fees.
Why not charge other hunters & taxidermists for the use of a permit
that I pay for. Especialy when I am not going to be getting any of the work.
But yet I have to take the stuff out of the crates ,So I can incinerate the crate , Dip the skins, Boil the skulls , Make several phone calls & most of the time store the crap till the guy comes & gets it. Then I get to clean up the whole mess in my shop that that guys crate just left me.PLUS I have to keep all the records of every crate that I recieve for USDA.
Most of the guys are glad to pay the fee because no one else would clear it for them, & they dont want to use a tannery.

Yada Yada Yada..There are pleny of tanners

This response submitted by * on 7/9/06 at 3:08 PM. ( )

That DON"T charge to except an in-bound out of country shipment,some "maybe" a crate disposal fee of 50. Many that do an "EXCELLANT" job of tanning african capes, no cuts, no holes, no slips.And to tan your own african skins is a BIG waste of productive time.That's from 35 years experience in this business.
I spend $30,000+ a year in tanning african capes and skins.
But I don't know anything... RJ knows it all,I don't think so.
I've been getting African capes for more than 25 years. Been on 6 safari's and have done hundreds, yes, hundreds. And have mounted thousands of african pieces.
Also when it comes to getting horns fron Tanner they simply BOX THEM (not crate) and sends horns UPS to us, cheap not expensive.
And if they are not dipped they are not doing what is required by the laws of their country or ours. And they should not even let that crap into the country.And that African company that is charging for dip and pack is ripping off clients. If all that they do is crate and ship the P H's could do that and charge to make a crate.
P.S. I wouldn't let any Califonia tanner tan a deer skin let alone anything african.
Hey George, I'm with you, if you want me to do anything more Please email me direct. I'll get involved you've pulled me into it.

>Perhaps this is the best for taxidermy! More Regs!<

This response submitted by ** on 7/9/06 at 3:15 PM. ( )

Maybe we DO need to dip everything BEFORE shipping to or crossing state lines. Perhaps we should encourage the government to pass more laws!

This might weed out the taxidermists that are not able to run a real business. It will get rid of a lot of FODDER! LOL

Wasting my time here

This response submitted by * on 7/9/06 at 3:27 PM. ( )

My skin isn't as thick as yours George, I'm to old have better things to do.
I should know better and stay off this site.
You know my email, I'll help where I can.

"God grant to the strength to change what I can, and even more strength to accept the things I can't"

I Don't Get It...

This response submitted by Harry Whitehead on 7/9/06 at 3:52 PM. ( )

All of this stuff that you guys are talking about is confusing. I have quite a bit of African work and all of these extra charges that you all speak of is non existant to my knowledge. I have done business with several dip and pack businesses in Africa in several different countries and they ALL dip the skins. The outfitters have skinners in each camp that flesh the hides pretty well and salted before the skins even get to the dip and pack facilities. In just about ALL cases the skulls are boiled in camp or at least cleaned pretty close before the skulls are even picked up by the dip and pack folks. The dip and pack folks then treat the skulls and skins with a pickle solution and then some kind of insecticide in powder form. As for getting them dipped again state side, my tannery (Advantage Fur Dressing) does all of that for NO CHARGE. They charge a safari fee of $100.00 per shipment to handle all of the horns and reshipping the horns back to me. They do all of the tanning except for the small stuff and I do it here in my shop. As for getting it cleard by US Fish and Wildlife, ABX Logistics does all of my clearing for me. They charge $125.00 for their services. Now there are Fish and Wildlife charges and terminal storage and a few other fees involved but nothing big. So I guess to get a shipment from Africa to the US should cost me;
$100.00 Advantage safari fee
$125.00 ABX clearance fee
$80.00 Terminal storage fee
$150.00 US Fish and Wildlife inspection fee
$30.00 Courier service from ABX to Advantage
$50.00 Additional classification Fish and Wildlife fees
This is a total of $535.00. This excludes any freight charges or tanning charges and of course Advantage is doing the tanning. I guess that Mr. Simington is charging the $500.00 but is that his charge and all of the other charges are in addition to the $500.00 or is the $500.00 a blanket charge to cover it all? I don't understand!

I was just proving my point

This response submitted by RJ Simington on 7/9/06 at 4:58 PM. ( )

You said No tanner that you know of, Well you now know that there are tanneries that also charge fees.
I guese if I didnt put a name on here I could say just about anything & everyone would take that to heart. Right.

What I was trying to get across is that the fee is not for doing nothing. We actualy are supervised by an apointed USDA Vet for our dipping to take place, & most of the time clearing for other taxidermists is more of a pain in the butt than its worth & that is why so many people get turned down by some of us & we wont clear the shipments.
There are at times people that get shipments hung up at customs & are in need of getting their shipments cleared & they WONT use a tanner.
I think I will bring a couple of skins from Africa to my seminar in Billings just to show people how the skins come in.

That's the Africa I deal with also Harry...

This response submitted by * on 7/9/06 at 5:03 PM. ( )

And your tanner treats you like mine do.
RJ is charging 500 just for using his facility. At least that how it reads
""The charge comes in because We that have the permit have to keep records , We are the ones to open & handle the crates ( which sometimes is a real mess in our shops), next we have top make all the phone calls , & mst of the time store the whole crate in our secure facility until the vet gets back to us . That sometimes takes weeks.""

Thanks RJ

This response submitted by * on 7/9/06 at 5:10 PM. ( )

I am informed now about tanners that charge for this, Thanks
And my business they will never see.

I'm with Harry on the tannery

This response submitted by Evelyn on 7/9/06 at 6:41 PM. ( )

I use the same tannery as Harry Whitehead, and I also have everything taken care of by ABX logistics. Personally it is a great way to handle African skins.

I have no problem with double dipping regulations if they happen, and the post what not to be meant to be a discussion on who dips what, where, and when. I was meant to bring attention to a possible new regulation by USDA on BANNING ALL skins from overseas, no matter how many times they have been dipped. If that happens, then the least of our worries would be the dipping of skins, but how to make up for all the lost income due to the loss of mounting African Safaris, as well as any safari from overseas.


This response submitted by * on 7/9/06 at 7:32 PM. ( )

I just get slammed when I said I also am just worries about complete
ban, If people in africa are doing what RJ states and not dipping in solutions before shipping and a lot start doing it, then double dip is going to happen not just on swine and primates right now.
Let's write and call who we need to , give someone who is fighting this some back-up..
HHHMMM.. last week here and on Ebay someone had a studio in Africa for sale
If we ban raw skins , he'll be able to sell at 10 times his asking price.
One other alternative I have worked many times with skins tanned at Trans-Africa Taxidermy in S.A. , They tanned the capes and lifesize skins and shipped over with horns. Tan was nice, good stretch, held sewing very well even on Blue Diukers legs and genets ( tender skins ), no slips, ears turned all they way. They were as good as any reputable U.S. tannery
If all else fails get yourself set up to TAN over there and ship to states. The frieght saving alone pays for the tanning. Just work with someone responsible. Big name studios.
Just to let you guys know there are ways to still get your work if this happens. It's Just going to take some new thinking.

I agree with that

This response submitted by RJ Simington on 7/9/06 at 10:08 PM. ( )

As long as you know the tanning proccess they use & have used or seen their finished skins.
I had a couple of shipments tanned at Karroo Taxidermy.
They used Lutan F (which I showed them how to do properly).
It saved about $1000. on the shipping.
But the USDA still made sure the shipment was going to an aproved facility.
Evelyn I do agree with you that something is going to have to be done to protect us here in the US from loosing all of that work.
The regulation are constantly changing & as my USDA Vet told me it depends on who is on duty when your shipment comes in as to how strict they will be. I have had crates come in that had live bugs in it from Zimbabwa so you know that they never inspected the crate at the port.
It should not be that way but it is.
My Vet also informed me that what is bringing a lot of these restrictions to the surface is or Home Land Security.
Evedently the feds took some of the USDA Vet at the ports & made them representatives for Homeland security, & several of those chosen were new guys that are reading the regs & letting nothing slide.

I apoligize if I made a stir, I didnt meen to I was just saying that there are other alternatives for those who dont use tanneries.

The biggest problem is the feds will do what they want & we will not be able to do anything about it unless we get Congress or Senetors in our favor. But unfotunately we have Idiots that live in other countries that want to do our county harm & as long as they are, we will need tightening restrictions so you or I dont open a crate full of dangerous chemicals or poisons.

My USDA Vet has told me that they advise us to wear protective masks & rubber gloves when handling these shipments until after they are treated in my shop.
This tells me that they are afraid of something happening.

That's the way it's always been...

This response submitted by Harry Whithead on 7/10/06 at 7:07 PM. ( )

You should wear protective gear anyway when handling such shipments. I wear gloves when recieving avian trophies and with this bird flu thing it's going to get worse. My Vet tells me that nothing is going to happen to come to a full ban but that the regs on the approved establishments will have stricter rules. The problem at the ports is a different problem though. You never know what to expect at any one port of entry on any given day. It has also changed hands from USDA Agriculture to the Customs and Border Protection Agriculture. Alot of these folks think that they are way above the laws and their interpretation. One guy may do one thing one day and something very different the next. It's best to have a clearing house do the clearing of your trophies since they have a relationship with those folks and it seems easier.

If tannerys charge

This response submitted by Randy on 7/11/06 at 12:44 AM. ( )

If a tannery charges for dipping then don't use them. Plain and simple. Economics will take care of that one, RJ makes reference to New Method Fur Dressing. New Method at one time was very good, about 20-25 years ago when Mario was there. Today they are the worst ever. Their skins have no stretch, if you want slippage then send it to them and they will slip it, Moe knows absoutly nothing about taxidermy, they a huge joke. Ever since Mario was not there, that place has headed straight for the gutter, and they charge for dipping? Sorry RJ, I am not trying to bash anyone but there are lots of very good tanneries that do not charge, many of the very best. Also I believe that my time is better spent mounting, not shaving, dipping, paperwork, handling and disposing of chemicals, burning crates, hasseling with vets etc. Using a tannery that is good just makes good business sence to me. If importing raw skins becomes a great hassel then owning a tannery in Africa may be a big money maker?

As far as interstate control of animals, now thats a big deal, real big, Personally I do not think it will happen as there are literally hundreds of types of industries that rely on interstate shipment of animals, animal products, not just taxidermists.

Evelyn what, who, regs, legislation etc. are you talking about, This should be posted so that we all know the number or title of the rule or porposed rule. This way we can contact appropriate persons, legislators, SCI, NTA?, and so on and make reference to the proposed rule. If so please list them.

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