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Mailing of live fish by USPS Priority Mail - WARNING
I apologize in advance for cross-posting this to both lists, and to those
outside the US for whom this is irrelevant. Some of you already know about
this new problem - I just want to make sure everybody does so we can avoid
any unnecessary shipping tragedies in the near future.
WARNING RE: MAILING OF LIVE FISH
A common procedure for shipping killifish in the U.S. is to use Priority
Mail. It is reasonable cheap and usually takes two to five days to get
anywhere in the US. Recently, the USPS changed the way it handles Priority
Mail, and as a result, it is no longer a satisfactory method of sending
killifish. Formerly, priority mail was shipped by the USPS by air in
heated, pressurized cargo holds. The US Postal Service no longer handles
all of it's priority mailing shipments and is now contracting out most of
it to Emory Air Freight. Emory uses unheated, unpressurized cargo space
and there has been a significant decrease in live deliveries of killifish
using Priority Mail as a result.
If you ship or receive killifish (or any other live material) in the U.S.
by Priority Mail, you are seriously urged to consider using alternative
methods of sending the fish. USPS Express Mail still goes via heated,
pressurized air cargo (not via Emory), and is recommended. If you have
reason to believe that your Priority Mail is not going by Emory Air (for
example, you are mailing locally and it stays on the ground), then Priority
Mail might still be a good system in some circumstances. United Parcel
Service (UPS) and Federal Express will not accept live fishes if labelled
as such. If you have some good alternatives to Priority Mail, please let
us all know.
Local US killifish clubs with upcoming fish shows are also urged to
consider revising their mail-in instructions for show entries.