USFWS Seizes Elephant Ivory Mounted on Bases

We received this from the "Hunting Report"

The Hunting Report has learned that US Fish & Wildlife Service has confiscated a pair of elephant tusks imported from Botswana because they had been mounted to a base. The Service also seized a lechwe the importing hunter had made into a rug.

We have warned US hunters in the past that US Fish & Wildlife will seize elephant tusks with any embellishment, including brass rings or bases, because it considers such items as "worked ivory" or personal items that must be coded as "P" on documentation, not hunting trophies, which are coded "H". Despite reports that some ports of entry are allowing these items to pass, others, including Miami, have been seizing the items.

This problem stems from the way USFWS redefined what a sporthunted trophy is in a set of regulations the Service passed in 2007. Those regulations require a CITES I import permit for any worked or utilitarian items made from elephant and other CITES species. Since the new regulations were implemented in 2007, scores of legally taken trophies have been confiscated because they were "worked" in some fashion.

John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force advises that US hunters should not try to import elephant trophies that have been worked in any way, including the addition of brass rings at the bases. Import all your CITES trophies as raw trophies, and have the work done in the US in order to avoid possibility of seizure. - Barbara Crown, Editor.