Transport guidelines - PACKER'S GUIDELINES Rp/3

Rp/3 – Tortoises and land turtles, snakes, lizards
1. General welfare
1.1 Reptiles should have priority over merchandise.
1.21 Only reptiles in good health should be transported.
1.3 Reptiles should not be sedated.
1.41 Reptiles of different species should not be transported in the same compartment or bag.
1.5 Unless reptiles of the same species are known to be compatible with one another, they should not be transported in the same compartment or bag.
1.6 Reptiles should be left undisturbed during transport.
1.72 Reptiles that have become sick or that have been injured during transport should receive veterinary treatment as soon as possible and, if necessary, should be humanely destroyed. A record of any such occurrences should be kept.
1.82 Sick or dead reptiles should be removed from containers, when feasible, and a record kept.
1.9 No feeding should be necessary during transport.
1.10 To avoid cross-infection, and for health and hygiene reasons, human contact with reptiles should be avoided, and they should not be housed near foodstuffs or in places to which unauthorized persons have access.
1.11 No animal should be transported with radioactive material or other substances dangerous to health.
1.12 Containers should be secured to the aircraft, rail wagon, lorry or ship to avoid any possible movement, and should at all times be maintained in a horizontal position.
2. Advance arrangements for transport
2.1 All possible precautions should be taken in advance to ensure that reptiles are not subjected to extremes of temperature or to draughts. This would necessitate planning their movement with due regard to the climatic conditions natural to them, and to the conditions prevailing at their final destination, and also those that will be encountered during transport. Particular attention should be paid to the facilities at any intermediate stops at airports, etc.
2.2 Any bags or other packing material should be destroyed after use; when containers are to be re-used they should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
2.3 The estimated time of arrival should be notified in advance to the consignee, and also the route of the consignment. Adequate arrangements for its prompt collection at the final destination, and for any necessary movement at transit points, should be made in advance.
2.4 Should any delay in collection be anticipated, then advance arrangements should be made for the housing of the reptiles.
2.5 Cash on delivery facilities should not be used.
3. Container
3.1 The container should be constructed of wood, hardboard, expanded polystyrene, or other material of similar strength, and there should be an adequate framework to ensure that it is strong enough to house the reptiles and to withstand the handling involved during transport.
3.2 There should be no sharp edges or projections on the inside surfaces of the container.
3.3 If any wood preservative or paint is used on the container, care should be taken to ensure that this is not toxic or a skin irritant.
3.4 The container may comprise a number of compartments, provided that the overall size of the container is such that it may be handled without difficulty.
3.5 The container should be sufficiently shallow to prevent reptiles, such as tortoises, from climbing on top of one another, and should be of a size which prevents undue movement of the reptiles, and hence minimizes the risk of injury due to violent movement of the container.
3.6 There should be a lid completely covering the container, fitted with a secure fastening device.
3.7 To ensure an adequate flow of air at all times, ventilation holes should be provided in all walls and the lid of the container. These ventilation holes should be covered with fine gauze.
3.8 Suitable gripper bars or lifting handles should be provided.
3.9 Spacer bars of adequate size should be fitted to all walls, lid and base of the container, to ensure that there is a free flow of air to the reptiles in the event of stacking or close stowing of cargo.
4. Packing
4.1 Snakes and lizards should be placed in suitable bags which are then sealed and labelled "POISONOUS" or "NON-POISONOUS REPTILES" as appropriate. However, bags are not suitable for general transportation of chameleons (Chamaeleonidae) and lizards of a spiny nature, such as some agamas (Agamidae). The first mentioned travel better in containers furnished with a network of rigid perches and the others in containers furnished with soft, loose material into which they can burrow.
4.2 In the case of small specimens, several may be packed in the same bag.
4.3 If necessary, dampened sphagnum moss or foam chippings may be packed around the reptiles – certain species may require salt water.
4.4 The bags should be firmly attached to the container.
5. Labelling and documentation
  Durable, waterproof labels should be provided as follows:
5.1 "LIVE REPTILES – DO NOT TIP", "POISONOUS" or "NON-POISONOUS", as appropriate, on all sides and top.
5.2 "THIS WAY UP", with arrows indicating the top, on all sides.
5.3 Consignor's and consignee's name, address and telephone number. Box numbers should not be used as the sole address.
5.4 Detailed list of contents: number of reptiles; scientific name and common names used in the exporting and importing countries.
5.5 Temperature range required.
5.6 Date on which reptiles were packed for transport.
5.7 Official stamp of carrier showing date of his receipt of consignment.
  Durable, waterproof means of containing the following documents and other essential information should be firmly attached to the container:
5.8 Duplicate of consignor's and consignee's name, address and telephone number.
5.9 Duplicate list of contents as in 5.4.
5.10 Copies of relevant export and import licences.
5.11 Copy of valid health certificate issued in accordance with the requirements of the importing country.
5.12 Duplicate information regarding temperature range required.
1 Exceptional circumstances may arise which justify departure from this recommendation.
2 Reptiles are frequently in a state of torpor and, therefore, the advice of someone qualified in handling reptiles should be obtained before any action is taken in cases where there is any doubt as to the condition of the reptiles.