Post Office Tells FedEx to Start Carrying Live Animals
On August 26th, Paul Vogel, Vice President of Network Operations Management of the USPS wrote a letter to FedEx demanding that they begin carrying live animals under its mail contract with the USPS within 60 days. This is a major breakthrough for the poultry industry. If FedEx complies, shipments of adult and day old birds will be much faster throughout the United States.
The Bird Shippers of America was successful in having Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) author legislation that mandated that an airline carrying mail must carry "day-old poultry and other such live animals as postal regulations allow to be transmitted as mail matter" unless the airline "commonly and regularly refuses to accept any live animals as cargo." This legislation passed the Congress in 2001. However, FedEx has never carried live animals for the USPS as it maintains that it does not carry live animals as air cargo. Research by the Bird Shippers of America and their attorney, Stephen S. Boynton, shows that FedEx does in fact carry live animals on a regular and common basis. FedEx even has a live animal desk identified on their website and many examples of live animal shipments have been found.
Shipsments of live animals have been very difficult for portions of the US over the past several years as the other commercial airlines that do carry lives as mail are reducing flights, using smaller planes that have less cargo carrying capacity and have instituted restrictions that limit their ability to carry live animals. As FedEx carries a tremendous amount of mail now, its ability to carry lives will increase tremendously the ability of the USPS to transport your live birds. FedEx has not yet responded to Mr. Vogel's letter.
Congratulations are in order for the Bird Shippers of America, Senator Grassley, his staff and Mr. Boynton for their work with the USPS on this problem.