Your horse’s tail, moose horn and croc teeth are in the post
Animal parts and live insects among items seized by An Post anti-smuggling teams
A total of 37 crocodile or alligator teeth from the United States were discovered in a parcel during the same month. Photograph: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images
A horse’s tail, a dried bat, a moose horn and 37 crocodile teeth were among the strange items people tried to smuggle into the State by post during the past two years.
All animal-related imports must undergo a veterinary inspection before entering the jurisdiction, while the movement of certain species is completely banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
A package containing 89 dried insects was intercepted by the Customs Division of Revenue in Portlaoise in May 2018. The parcel had been posted from Cameroon, where insects are a popular delicacy.
In July 2018, anti-smuggling personnel seized a package that contained two exotic beetles, which were alive when they reached the mail centre, having survived the long journey from Japan.
A total of 37 crocodile or alligator teeth from the United States were discovered in a parcel during the same month, while a dozen eggs from the US were also seized the next day.
Other animal-related seizures during 2017 and 2018 included a dried bat from Indonesia, and seven “bird cape feathers” from India.
In 2016, a consignment of eight alligator heads, an active bird nest, and a package containing up to 4,000 live bees were seized at the mail centre. At Dublin Airport during the same year, a hippo’s tusk, a crocodile head and a number of conch shells were among the animal-related items seized.
A spokesman for Revenue said its Customs Division has anti-smuggling teams stationed at all main ports and airports, as well as at the country’s main postal depots.
“Packages received in postal depots are subject to risk-profiling, post-clearance auditing and other post-clearance controls. Revenue officers routinely profile such importations and carry out X-ray examinations and physical examinations based on risk assessment, and with a focus on detention and seizure of smuggled and prohibited goods, to include certain wildlife or animal imports,” he said.