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526 Mailable Live Animals

526.1 General

Some animals are mailable under proper conditions. See the specific instructions as noted for the following kinds of animals:

  1. Live bees, 526.2 and Exhibit 526.21.
  2. Live, day–old poultry, 526.3 and Exhibit 526.33.
  3. Live adult fowl, 526.4.
  4. Live scorpions (only under limited circumstances), 526.5 and Exhibit 526.5.
  5. Other small, harmless, cold–blooded animals, 526.6 and Exhibit 526.6.

Note: Regarding dead animals or parts of animals, see 526.7 and Exhibit 526.7.

526.2 Live Bees

526.21 Mailability Requirements

Bees, including honeybees and queen honeybees, are acceptable for shipping within the continental U.S. and must be free of disease, as required under federal and state regulations. The following additional conditions apply:

  1. Honeybees. Honeybees are acceptable only via surface transportation, and must bear special handling fees, in addition to regular postage. Mailpieces must be plainly marked on the address side with “Live Bees” and “Surface Only” or “Surface Mail Only.”
  2. Queen Honeybees.
  3. Via air transportation. Only queen honey bees may be shipped via air transportation. Each queen honeybee shipped via air transportation may be accompanied by up to eight attendant honeybees.

    Via surface transportation. Queen honeybees shipped via surface transportation must bear special handling fees, in addition to regular postage.

All mailpieces containing queen honeybees must be plainly marked on the address side with “Live Queen Bees.” Refer to Exhibit 526.21 for a general summary of the requirements for mailing live bees.

Exhibit 526.21 

Requirements for Mailing Live Bees

 

Live Bees

Live BeesContents must be either queen honeybees or honeybees. Bees must be securely packaged (see 522) to provide adequate air and they must be kept within a tolerable temperature range at 40° to 100° F.

The use of insecticides must be eliminated in Postal Service areas that will be occupied by bee shipments.

Air Transportation

Surface Transportation

526.22 Claims for Bee Shipments

Indemnity claims (see DMM 609) for damage, partial loss, and loss of insured shipments of mailable bees are accepted only in the following situations:

  1. Death of the bees resulted from Postal Service handling after conditions for mailability were met and when there was strong likelihood that the shipment could have been safely transported.
  2. Contents were lost because of damage to the container while in Postal Service custody.
  3. The complete package was lost in the mail.
  4. Special handling was purchased as required under 526.21.

526.3 Live, Day–Old Poultry

526.31 General

The following live, day–old animals are acceptable for mailing when properly packaged: chickens, ducks, emus, geese, guinea fowl, partridges, pheasants (only during April through August), quail, and turkeys. All other types of live, day–old poultry are nonmailable. Day–old poultry vaccinated with Newcastle disease (live virus) also is nonmailable.

526.32 Mailability Requirements

The specific types of day-old poultry named in 526.31 are mailable subject to the following requirements:

  1. Poultry that is not more than 24 hours old and is presented for mailing in the original, unopened hatchery box from the hatchery of origin.
  2. The date and hour of hatching is noted on the box by a representative of the hatchery who has personal knowledge thereof. (For Collect on Delivery (COD) shipments made by a hatchery for the account of others, the name or initials and address of the hatchery or the Post Office box number and address of the hatchery must be prominently shown for this standard.)
  3. Box is properly ventilated, of proper construction and strength to bear safe transport in the mail, and is not stacked more than 10 units high.
  4. Day–old poultry is mailed early enough in the week to avoid receipt at the office of address (in case of missed connections) on a Sunday, a national holiday, or the afternoon before a Sunday or national holiday.
  5. Day–old poultry can be delivered to the addressee within 72 hours of the time of hatching.
  6. Day-old poultry sent via surface transportation, must include special handling service fees, in addition to regular postage.
  7. Day-old poultry sent via air transportation must meet all provisions of the airlines. Delivery of the mailpiece is dependent on the availability of air carriers having available equipment to safely deliver the day–old poultry within the specified time limit.
  8. Day–old poultry that is first shipped via a commercial air express or air cargo service and then presented for mailing to a final destination must be in good condition and properly packaged as specified in 526.32a-e.
  9. Boxes of day–old poultry of about identical size, securely fastened together to prevent separation in transit, may be accepted for mailing as a single parcel, provided the total length and girth combined does not exceed Postal Service limits.

See Exhibit 526.33, Requirements for Mailing Live, Day–Old Poultry. See Chapter 7 regarding domestic mail shipments sent via air transportation.

526.33 Claims for Live, Day–Old Poultry

Indemnity claims (see DMM 609) for damage, partial loss, and loss of insured shipments of mailable, live, day–old poultry are accepted only in the following situations:

  1. Death of the live, day–old poultry resulted from Postal Service handling after conditions for mailability were met and when there was strong likelihood that the shipment could have been safely transported.
  2. Contents were lost because of damage to the container while in Postal Service custody.
  3. The complete package was lost in the mail.
  4. Special handling was purchased as required under 526.32f.

Exhibit 526.33 

Requirements for Mailing Live, Day–Old Poultry

 

Answer each question and follow the instruction as indicated.

YES

NO

1.

Is poultry live, day-old poultry as listed in 526.31?

If pheasants, they are mailable only during April through August.

Go to No. 2.

If not day–old poultry, item is NONMAILABLE. If not poultry or not day-old, check other mailable animal types in Section 52 to determine mailability.

2.

Was hatching time 24 hours ago or less?

Go to No. 3.

NONMAILABLE.

3.

Was poultry presented for mailing in original, unopened hatchery box from hatchery of origin?

Go to No. 4.

Do not accept.

4.

Are boxes properly ventilated and of proper construction and strength to bear safe transport in mail?

Note: Boxes of approximately identical size, securely fastened to prevent separation in transit, may be accepted for mailing as a single parcel if the mailpiece does not exceed DMM limits for combined length and girth or exceed 70 pounds in weight.

Boxes are not to be stacked more than 10 units high.
Go to No. 5.

Do not accept.

5.

Are the date and hour of hatching noted on box by representative of hatchery who has personal knowledge of facts?

Go to No. 6.

Do not accept.

6.

Did shipment originate at another office, or was it sent by air express or air cargo and then presented for mailing?

Before accepting, take special precautions to ensure that shipment is in excellent condition.
Go to No. 7.

Go to No. 7.

7.

Is the shipment being mailed with a special handling service charge, in addition to regular postage? Exception: shipment is being mailed via air transportation.

Go to No. 8.

Shipment must include special handling service to be mailable.

8.

If shipment is COD, have all conditions for using COD service (as required in DMM 503.11) been met? If not COD, go to No. 9.

Go to No. 9.

If COD, do not accept unless all applicable requirements in DMM 503.11 are met.

9.

Is poultry being mailed sufficiently early in week to avoid arrival at the delivery post office on Sunday or holiday, or on afternoon preceding Sunday or holiday?

Go to No. 10.

Do not accept.

10.

Can poultry be delivered to addressee within 72 hours of time of hatching, regardless of whether addressee resides in town or on rural or highway contract route?

Accept for mailing.

Do not accept.

526.4 Adult Birds

526.41 General

Disease-free adult birds may be mailed domestically when shipped under all applicable governmental laws and regulations, including the Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and any state, municipal, or local ordinances. Mailers must comply with all applicable governmental laws and regulations, including the Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and any state, municipal, or local ordinances. Mailings must also be compliant with the guidelines provided in USPS Publication 14, Prohibitions and Restrictions on Mailing Animals, Plants, and Related Matter, Chapter 5. In addition, each container or package must be marked as required by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under 50 CFR 14. Adult birds must be properly packaged and able to sustain shipment without food or water because liquids, moisture, and loose foodstuffs can cause damage to the shipping container, other mail, and Postal Service equipment during transport.

526.42 Mailability Requirements

Adult birds are mailable only when sent under the following conditions:

  1. The shipment is mailed using Priority Mail Express service.
  2. Each bird must weigh more than 6 ounces and no more than 25 pounds.
  3. The number of birds per parcel must follow the container manufacturer limits.
  4. The mailer must secure containers approved by the manager, Product Classification (see 214 for address).
  5. A mailing container must be used that is constructed by a USPS-approved manufacturer listed on the RIBBS website at http://ribbs.usps.gov.
526.43 Claims for Adult Fowl

Indemnity may be paid only for articles that are lost, damaged, or for missing contents, and not for death of the birds in transit if there is no visible damage to the mailing container.

Postage refunds may not be available if the Priority Mail Express shipment was delivered or delivery was attempted within three days of the date of mailing as shown in the “Date In” box on Label 11. See DMM 609.

526.5 Live Scorpions

The mailing of scorpions is limited by the restrictions in 18 U.S.C. 1716. Under this limitation, scorpions are mailable only when sent for the purposes of medical research use or the manufacture of antivenin. Scorpions are nonmailable under any other circumstances. See Exhibit 526.5 for mailing conditions that apply to permissible shipments.

Exhibit 526.5 

Restrictions on Mailing Live Scorpions

 

Live scorpions are mailable only if EACH of the following conditions is met:

1.

Must be for delivery only within the continental United States.

2.

May be sent only by surface transportation.

3.

Must be sent only for special purposes of either:

4.

Must be properly packaged prior to mailing, as follows:

526.6 Small, Harmless, Cold–Blooded Animals

Small, harmless, cold–blooded animals, except for snakes, turtles, and turtle eggs, are mailable only when they meet certain requirements. For some examples, see Exhibit 526.6.

Exhibit 526.6 

Requirements for Mailing Small, Harmless, Cold–Blooded Animals (Except Snakes, Turtles, and Turtle Eggs)

 

General Requirements:

All animals in this group:

Specific Requirements by Animal:

Baby Alligators

Baby Caimans

Chameleons

Frogs

Lizards

Newts

Reptiles and Amphibians

Salamanders

Tadpoles and Toads

Specific Requirements by Animal:

Goldfish

Tropical Fish

Worms

Bloodworms

Hellgrammites

Leeches

Mealworms

Snails

Nonpoisonous Insects

526.7 Dead Animals or Parts of Animals

The dead bodies, or parts thereof, of any wild animals, wild birds, or eggs are acceptable for mailing only when they are lawfully killed or taken, and their shipment is not prohibited by law of the United States or of the state, territory, district, or foreign country or subdivision thereof in which killed or taken or offered for shipment. Mailing of fresh game is also subject to these standards. Dead animals or parts of animals include two groups of items:

  1. Group A: Items that need to be refrigerated.
  2. Group B: Items that must be dried.

See Exhibit 526.7 for additional information on the conditions for mailing.

Exhibit 526.7 

Requirements for Mailing Dead Animals or Parts of Animals

 

GROUP A: Items that need to be refrigerated

Game birds, fish, or other animals to be used for food.

Animals or animal parts to be used in conservation studies or to be preserved by taxidermy.

Mailable only when:

GROUP B: Items that must be dried

Dried furs, hides, skins, or pelts of wild animals.

Mailable only when such articles: