Notice for hunters with Leopard Trophies due back from Mozambique
NOTICE FOR HUNTERS WITH LEOPARD TROPHIES DUE BACK FROM MOZAMBIQUE
If you have a leopard trophy from Mozambique about to be shipped for import into the United States contact your Mozambique exporter immediately to stop the shipment. I would also contact your Ph and your US Import agent. Due to a problem with the tags that Mozambican officials are attaching to leopard trophies, the US Fish & Wildlife Service is declaring these trophies in violation of CITES regulations and is seizing the shipments. Already several trophies have been seized. This has happened with other countries recently as well.
In order to avoid seizure, hunters and their clearing agents need to stop all Mozambican leopard trophies from shipping to the US or immediately return them upon arrival. This includes any leopards originating from Mozambique but shipped via South Africa. The problem is not with the CITES paperwork but with the tag attached to the trophy, and that originates in Mozambique. Tags must display the kill number, the quota for the year and the year of take. For example: number 45, of a quota of 122, for year of take 2010. The tags used in Mozambique are missing part of this information, making it a violation of US Fish & Wildlife regulations for CITES imports.
This situation should not affect future leopard imports, as normally it is a fairly simple matter for the country to comply with the requirements, but even if you go later, be aware as some may not get the word of the changes needed.
The USFWS form has also been updated. Make sure you have the current copy.