Target: United States Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe
Goal: Don’t allow the shipment of live animals
The United States Postal Service is considering changing mailing standards to allow shipment of all birds weighing up to 25 pounds. The birds are commonly shipped in cardboard boxes with air holes at the top. Last year, about 1,000 baby chicks died in transit after having been left in a truck during 105 degree weather. The chicks were being shipped from Iowa to Kentucky.
As of today, the USPS allows shipping of live adult birds that weigh over 6 ounces, or day-old poultry such as turkeys, guinea fowl, and geese. Worst of all, these birds must be transported without food or water in case the package breaks. The USPS doesn’t consider how being trapped in a box for days without water will affect these birds, and deaths due to starvation, extreme temperatures, and mishandling are common.
The USPS also ships live scorpions, bees, and small cold-blooded animals such as insects and reptiles. Again, these animals must be shipped without food or water. The Humane Society has called for shipment of animals to be confined to weather between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit and limiting car or truck time to 4 hours, but so far the USPS follows no such guidelines.
The USPS may need more business these days, but these animals should not be paying the price. This is clearly animal abuse, and will continue to lead to more deaths. Urge the USPS to stop transporting live animals.
Dear Mr. Donahoe,
We are writing to protest the United States Postal Service’s shipment of live animals. After the deaths of 1,000 baby chickens last year in 105 degree weather at a Louisville, Kentucky mail-processing plant, we would have been led to believe that the USPS’ shipping standards for live animals would become more, not less stringent.
However, it has come to our attention that the USPS is now allowing shipment of all birds under 25 pounds, along with small, harmless, cold-blooded animals, bees, and scorpions. Worst of all, these animals are being shipped with no food or water.
It is hardly a surprise that these chickens died under these conditions, and it will not be a surprise if thousands, perhaps even millions more animals die as a result of your shipping standards. We urge you to stop shipping live animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: knitting iris via Flickr