Domestic Mail Manual
(we will always be adding to the DMM,
and all it's addenda)
The Postal Service received
numerous comments in response to its April 24, 2013 proposed rule. As a
result of these comments, the Postal Service has decided to proceed only with
the expanded mailability of adult birds, and not to continue with the other
proposals at this time. However, the Postal Service may reconsider these
proposals at a future date.
Effective September 3, 2013, the
Postal Service™ will revise Mailing Standards of
the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®)
601.9.3.4 to expand the mailability of adult birds to include any
disease-free live adult bird, weighing no more than 25 pounds, if the
mailer and the mailing is compliant with all applicable governmental laws
The DMM provides a list of the types
of disease-free adult birds that can be mailed domestically. That list
is currently restricted to adult chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, doves,
pigeons, pheasants, partridges, quail, ducks, geese, and swans.
With this revision, the Postal Service
expands its mailing standards to allow for the shipment of any
disease-free live adult bird, weighing no more than 25 pounds, which can
be legally transported. Mailers will be required to be aware of, and
comply with, all applicable governmental laws and regulations, including
the Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and regulations of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and any
state, municipal, or local ordinances. Mailings must also be compliant
with the guidelines provided in USPS Publication 14, Prohibitions
and Restrictions on Mailing Animals, Plants, and Related Matter,
This revision was first announced in
the April 24, 2013 proposed rule, Federal Register
notice (78 FR 24132-24134), titled New Mailing
Standards for Live Animals and Special Handling. In addition to the
expanded mailability of live birds, the proposed rule also included new
requirements for the use of Special Handling service with shipments of
certain live animals, new barcoding requirements for Special Handling
service, and a restriction on the mail classes that can be used with
mailings of live reptiles and amphibians.
The USPS does
not accept any shipment of animals that the USPS reasonably believes
cannot reach its destination in a viable condition. Such a determination
is based on factors including the expected temperatures (weather
conditions) while the shipment is in the mail; the types of vehicles on
which the shipment is to be transported; the expected transit time; and
the types of packaging used for protection against suffocation, crushing,
animal is nonmailable if such animal is being mailed for the purpose of
having it participate in an animal fighting venture (7 U.S.C. 2156).
This standard applies regardless of whether such venture is permitted
under the laws of the state in which it is conducted. Violators can be
subject to the criminal penalties in 18 U.S.C. 49. See 12.20
for the prohibition on mailing sharp instruments intended for use in an
animal fighting venture and 13.5.7
for restrictions on mailing written, printed, or graphic matter related to
animal fighting ventures. For this standard:
term animal means any live bird, or any
live mammal (e.g., dog), except human;
term animal fighting venture means any
event, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, that involves a
fight conducted or to be conducted between at least two animals for
purposes of sport, wagering, or entertainment (excluding any activity
whose primary purpose involves using one or more animals in hunting other
term state means any state of the United
States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any
U.S. territory or possession.
poultry vaccinated with Newcastle disease (live virus) is nonmailable.
Live day-old chickens, ducks, emus, geese, guinea fowl, partridges,
pheasants (pheasants may be mailed only from April through August), quail,
and turkeys are acceptable in the mail only if:
are not more than 24 hours old and are presented for mailing in the
original unopened hatchery box from the hatchery of origin.
date and hour of hatching is noted on the box by a representative of the hatchery
who has personal knowledge thereof. (For COD shipments made by a hatchery
for the account of others, the name or initials and address of the
hatchery or the Post Office box number and address of the hatchery must be
prominently shown for this standard.)
box is properly ventilated, of proper construction and strength to bear
safe transmission in the mail, and not stacked more than 10 units
are mailed early enough in the week to avoid receipt at the office of address,
in case of missed connections, on a Sunday, on a national holiday, or on
the afternoon before a Sunday or holiday.
can be delivered to the addressee within 72 hours of the time of
hatching, whether the addressee resides in town or on a rural route or
highway contract route.
shipment bears special handling postage in addition to regular postage, unless
sent at the First-Class Mail or Priority Mail prices.
live, day-old poultry is to be transported by aircraft, all provisions of
the airline tariffs are met and air carriers have equipment available
to safely deliver shipments within the specified time limits, allowing for
delays en route in air and ground transportation.
poultry, originally shipped by air express or air cargo and then presented
for mailing, must be in good condition and prepared as specified in 9.3.2a.
of day-old poultry of about identical size, securely fastened together to prevent
separation in transit, may be accepted for mailing as a single parcel, if
such parcel is not more than 100 inches in length and girth combined.
Disease-free adult birds, weighing no more than 25 pounds, may
be mailed domestically. Mailers must comply with all applicable
governmental laws and regulations, including the Lacey Act, the Endangered
Species Act (ESA), and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and any state, municipal or local
ordinances. Mailings must also be compliant with the guidelines provided
in USPS Publication 14, Prohibitions and
Restrictions on Mailing Animals, Plants, and Related Matter,
Chapter 5. In addition, each container or package must be marked as
required by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under 50 CFR 14.
Adult birds are mailable as
mailer must send adult birds by Priority Mail Express in approved, secure
number of birds per parcel must follow the container manufacturer limits and
each bird must weigh more than 6 ounces.
mailing container must be used that is constructed by a USPS-approved manufacturer.
may be paid only for articles that are lost, damaged, or missing contents,
and not for death of the birds in transit if there is no visible damage to
the mailing container.
refunds may not be available if the Priority Mail Express shipment was delivered
or delivery was attempted within three days of the date of mailing as
shown in the “Date In” box on Label 11.
The Postal Service's Traffic Control System is used to advise
destination and transfer offices when any significant quantities of animals
are moving through the mail. Postal field personnel should ensure that the
of ground transportation (via trucks) is limited to a four-hour time period.
Any mailpiece identified as
containing live birds must be handled
with care and sensitivity by postal employees.
Instructions for USPS Postmasters
Mailing Live Animals
shipping live animals must call the District Expedited
Services Office (ESO), which coordinates and clears such shipments. The ESO will
tell you where to drop off your "live" shipment and notify the
The availability of a drop-off site may vary depending on
transportation or the retail site's ability to handle large volumes. The ESO
tries to make acceptance points for live animal shipments widely available
and ensure protection of the lives while in the postal system.
September 25, 2006 inception of live animal mail
transport on the FedEx Network, the number of retail outlets available for
live animal acceptance increased significantly. Transportation on commercial
carriers continues to be available.
Special Handling Service is for unusual items
that need to be handled specially through the mail – like live poultry and
bees. For these items, Special Handling is required. Your package will receive
preferential handling to the extent that it’s practical in dispatch and