Notice to the Wildlife Import Community

As a follow-up to our E-Blast of Friday, 3/08, the following is a notice received today from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service:

Subject: Effects of the Sequester on Overtime Clearances

Background: Funding cuts related to the Federal budget sequestration that went into effect on March 1, 2013, will immediately impact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) import/export inspection operations. To reduce expenditures for the remainder of FY 2013, the Service has imposed a hiring freeze (meaning that wildlife inspector vacancies will not be filled) and has suspended all overtime activities (including those at ports of entry).

We anticipate that the trade will experience a reduction in service at affected ports. As the Service works to implement the required spending reductions, we will continue to update the trade on any additional effects on port operations.

Action: Effective immediately, the Service will not inspect or clear any wildlife import or export during overtime hours on weekdays, weekends, or Federal holidays. We urge the wildlife import/export trade to adjust the timing of shipments accordingly to prevent the loss of live or perishable wildlife/wildlife products.

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