Shipping Taxidermy To Australia, The United States of America And Beyond
A question I get asked frequently is:
“I’m moving to *Insert destination here* soon, I need a certificate to take my taxidermy mount with me, please can you help?”
I am unsure about Taxidermists in other countries, but here in the U.K, Taxidermists do not have the authority or facilities to issue you with any kind of official document or certificate.
These official documents will allow you to legally import your taxidermy into other countries, such as Australia and the U.S.
Here’s what you have to do;
Is your taxidermy specimen protected by CITES?
Firstly, you’ll need to check wether your taxidermy specimen is a CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) protected species.
You can use the online Checklist of CITES species to find out wether your taxidermy specimen is protected or not. (*please note, this law applies to both live and deceased specimens, which includes ANY part of an animal) .
If your taxidermy specimen is a CITES protected species, you’ll need to apply for a relevant permit.
If you’re from the U.K, you can apply for a CITES permit through the .gov website, which also has guidance on how to fill in the forms correctly.
Please click the button below to be redirected to the application page.APPLY FOR A CITES PERMIT
BEWARE of wildlife laws
it’s always worth double checking to see if any other wildlife laws apply to your specimen.
Even if your specimen is not CITES protected, it could be subject to other wildlife laws in place.
Otters, for example are a European protected species (EPS) and is also fully protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and is an offence to be in possession of one (dead or alive).
Please get in touch if you aren’t sure.
Do I need a ‘Certificate of Health’ for my Taxidermy mount?
Different regulations apply to different species and there are standards in place for the care, treatment and processing of animals.
However, in most situations (ESPECIALLY with strict Australian & US customs and border controls) you’ll need an EHC (Export Health Certificate) which is a document that proves your taxidermy specimen is free from diseases and pests that could potentially harm native flora & fauna in the country it’s headed for.
You can To export animal by-products outside the EU you usually need an Export Health Certificate (EHC), please click the button below to be redirected to the relevant page to check if you need an EHC.Get an EHC
Again, taxidermists don’t have the authority to issue this certificate. This is carried out by qualified veterinary professionals at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). They may also nominate a local veterinarian to carry out this check.
You can locate your nearest APHA office by calling the Helpline on Telephone: 03000 200 301.
How can I obtain an import/export permit?
Once you have the relevant documents specific to your taxidermy mount, you’ll then need to obtain an export/import licence from the relevant governing body of the country you plan to take it to.
DEFRA should be able to guide you with this step.
Please click the relevant buttons below for information on either the United States of America Import permits, issued through USFWS (US Fish & Wildlife Service) or the Australian Government Website.
Exempt Species to the U.S.A
Exporting animal products (including hair, skin, feathers, fur, bones etc.) to the United States is very different from anywhere else in the world.
Everything has to be declared and processed via US Fish & Wildlife. However, some domestic species are exempt from this process. They include:
- Alpaca—Lama alpaca;
- Camel—Camelus dromedarius;
- Camel (Boghdi)—Camelus bactrianus;
- Cat (domestic)—Felis domesticus;
- Cattle—Bos taurus;
- Dog (domestic)—Canis familiaris;
- European rabbit—Ortyctolagus cuniculus;
- Ferret (domestic)—Mustela putorius;
- Goat—Capra hircus;
- Horse—Equus caballus;
- Llama—Lama glama;
- Pig—Sus scrofa;
- Sheep—Ovis aries;
- Water buffalo—Bubalus bubalus;
- White lab mice—Mus musculus;
- White lab rat—Rattus norvegicus.
If your taxidermy is a species from above, you must clearly label the package “Domestic animals exempt from USF&W import restrictions”
It’s worth noting that if the animals here came from wild populations, they would have to be declared to USF&W by completing a 3-177 form.
All international shipments must also be through a designated port. See the list of ports by clicking here.
It’s a lot of information to take on board! But hopefully this guide made things a little clearer for you.
If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch and I will try my best to give you some answers.