U.S. officials to review rules on ivory for musicians, following seizure at Canadian border

Posted on: August 11, 2014

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will review its rules about ivory imports after two New Hampshire teenagers’ bagpipes were seized at the Canadian border, a spokesman said Friday,” writes Rik Stevens in a Sunday (8/10) Associated Press report. “The spokesman, Neil Mendelsohn, said customs agents at the Highgate Springs, Vermont, border crossing were following established laws designed to prevent the import and export of illegally harvested ivory when they seized pipes belonging to Campbell Webster and Eryk Bean, a pair of 17-year-olds who compete on an international level. Ivory harvested since 1976 is banned in the U.S. ‘Our headquarters is examining this and looking at the policy and the regulations understanding that musicians do have a unique situation,’ Mendelsohn said.… Campbell and Eryk were driving back from Canada after a competition that served as a tuneup for next weekend’s World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Campbell’s pipes date to 1936 and were played by his father, Gordon Webster, who was the 9th Sovereign Piper to Queen Elizabeth II of England. Because Highgate Springs is a ‘nondesignated’ crossing, they needed extra permits and inspection fees totaling $576…. They didn’t have the paperwork and the pipes were confiscated for a day. The boys eventually got their pipes back and are in Glasgow.”

Posted August 11, 2014