January 18, 2002 – Update

GOOD NEWS – Shippers can ship birds and customers
will receive them.

Just to bring you up-to-date on "where we are"
as to Phase II of the effort to establish a permanent legislative
solution to the air transport of day-old chicks, adult birds and
other animals, the following activates are underway.

As you are aware, the President signed the "Phase
I" legislation on November 12, 2001 that provided interim
relief to the problem and will be operative until June 30, 2002.
In the meantime, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has informed
us that the negotiations with the airlines for the "reasonable
surcharge" provided in the legislation have proceeded and
the new rates should be in place this month. The industry provided
input to the USPS and, although we have not been informed of the
exact charges, we are told, "the industry should not be disappointed
in the results." Further, negotiations are also being conducted
by the USPS with the airlines for postal contracts that will include
the referenced surcharge for air transport "of shipments
of day-old poultry and such other live animals as postal regulations
all to be transmitted as mail matter." Consequently, as a
practical matter, the contacts for airmail will go beyond the
June 30th date. As we all agree, a permanent legislative solution
is necessary so that the problem will not become one again in
the future.

In that regard, legislation has been drafted and
is currently under review by various entities that seek to ship
live animals by air transport as well as staff in the Congress.
An informal organization has been formed in Washington of representatives
of organizations and industry that are interested in having such
legislation passed in this Session of the Congress. Included in
the coalition are representatives of dog and cat organizations,
the agro-business community, the bio-medical research groups,
sportsmen’s organizations, the pet industry, and other specific
entities interested in shipping live species by air transport
such as fish and bee interests.

In order to counter the false claims on mortality
in the shipment of live animals made by the Humane Society of
the United States (HSUS), the Peoples’ Ethical Treatment of Animals
(PETA) and other animal rights organizations in the previous legislative
battle, a mortality study has been undertaken to compile as much
factual information on this subject as possible to present to
the Members and staff in the Congress.

All post offices should now accept birds for shipment
and have been informed as such by the USPS. Anyone currently having
problems with their local post offices or airlines should contact:
the Distribution Networks Managers for their areas.

  1. New York Metro Area — Metropolitan New York,
    and New Jersey, PR and US Virgin Islands.
    Stuart Gossoff

  2. Northeast Area – Maine, NE corridor, (CT, RI,
    MS,NH,VT) New York State
    Jack O’Neill

  3. Capital Metro Area – Washington Dc, VA, Baltimore

    Joe Lennon

  4. Eastern Area NC, SC, MD,PA some OH and some
    James Hull

  5. Great Lakes Area IL, IN, MI,some of MO
    Al Brown

  6. Western Area WA, OR, ID, MT,ND, SD, WI, MN,
    Donald Dietz

  7. Pacific Area CA, HI and pacific possessions
    Diane Guiuan

  8. Southwest Area TX, LA, OK
    Michael Craig

  9. Southeast Area GA, FL, AL, MS, KY, TN

    Paul McDermott

Again, folks, the grass-roots effort on Phase I was extremely effective
and, we believe, the success in obtaining the Phase I legislation
can be directly traced to that circumstance. In the face of opposition
from the airlines (with the wife of Senator Tom Dachel, the Majority
Leader in the Senate, being a lobbyist for Northwest Airlines that
undoubtedly made for interesting "pillow talk" during
the pending legislative effort), the airline’s trade association,
and the animal rights crowd, your collective grass roots response
"carried the day." To be successful Phase II, your able
assistance once more will certainly be required. With your continued
commitment, we sincerely believe we can, and will be, ultimately