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USPS Live Shipment Embargo

Posted by Allison Rostad on

   Some of you may have heard already, but for those of you whom haven’t, last week the United States Postal Service put an embargo on the shipment of live animals due to the impending bad weather across the nation. They’ve just recently extended this embargo through February 26th, 2021.
   It has come to our attention that one of the largest commercial hatcheries in the United States is taking a stand against the USPS’s decision and is rallying their customers to fight back. We urge our fellow mail order chick customers NOT to fight back.
   While we understand the hardships that this embargo will cause and the many, many chicks that will suffer because of this decision, it is important for us to see the bigger picture. The USPS is currently the only mail carrier willing to ship live animals. Should the pressure from this petition to remove the temporary embargo give them reason to ban live shipments all together, the future of mail order chicks will come to an abrupt halt.
   We must hold these larger, commercial hatcheries responsible. The USPS’s struggle to maintain their efficiency through a time of crisis (Covid-19) has been apparent for some time now. A company as large as Murray McMurray hatchery, who’s been in business for over 100 years now and has likely survived similar crises in the past, should have a plan in place for a situation such as this.
   We cannot blame the Postal Service for being responsible and admitting their inability to safely get live animals to their destination at this time. There is nothing worse than a customer receiving a box full of dead chicks.
   It is up to the hatcheries and the breeders all across the nation that are hatching chicks with the intention of shipping them to have a backup plan for their chicks should something like this occur. It is not enough to rely on another business (USPS) to secure the safety of the lives brought into this world by these hatcheries and breeders.
   As a responsible, small, family owned and operated hatchery, our number one priority is to ensure the health and safety of our baby chicks. We do not bring life into this world without a plan to protect it. We only hatch out what we can safely raise or rehome in the event we cannot safely ship them.
   Perhaps instead of banning together to petition the Postal Service’s embargo, it may be much wiser that we apply pressure to our large commercial hatcheries and ask them to source an alternative for chicks that cannot be shipped. 
   There are more than 35 million people in the United States that struggled with hunger in 2019. Imagine what a partnership with growers and processors in the poultry industry could do in this situation to help food security in the U.S.! That’s just one suggestion of several that we could be asking our large hatcheries to do to become more responsible with the lives of their baby chicks.
   As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times brought on by Covid, may we all be a little more understanding with the Postal Service and appreciative of their current willingness to ship our live birds all over the nation. Without their service, many businesses, especially ones like ourselves (small, supporting a family), would no longer be in business.
   To our customers currently awaiting chicks: please bear with us as we allow the Postal Service to get caught up with their backlog of packages so that we may ship you your birds in confidence of their safety during transit to you. We appreciate your business and your flexibility in receiving your chicks during these unpredictable times.