Hey, taxidermy and dead-critter fans in the US (or who ship to the US)–I put together this collection of links to relevant laws to international, federal, and state laws that affect the possession and/or sales of animal parts in the US. It’s NOT intended as legal advice as I am not a legal professional, but I do offer it as a starting point (when in doubt about the legality of something, check with your state fish and wildlife department). Here it is: http://www.thegreenwolf.com/partslaws.html
Anyway, you can peruse the links at your leisure, but there are a few things that I keep seeing come up that I think you may want to know about (you can find out more about these laws at the link I posted):
–It is illegal to sell or even possess almost all wild bird feathers and other parts, and even nests and eggs–and yes, this does include naturally molted feathers, as you can’t tell the difference between one that was molted, and one that was just ripped off an illegally shot bird. The species protected include all corvids (including crow, raven, jays, etc.), raptors (eagles, hawks, owls), songbirds (robins, cardinals, etc.) and so forth. This is due to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 (the “eagle feather law”). So that art you made with crow and blue jay feathers, and that hawk feather you have hanging from your rear view mirror? All illegal under federal law and subject to big fines.
–It is illegal to sell across state lines any CITES Appendix I animal parts, to include “pre-ban” (killed before 1973) ones. You can give them as gifts, and you can sell within state if your state allows it. But that vintage leopard coat or ocelot scrap that you’re trying to sell on Etsy? Illegal according to federal law. (See http://www.thegreenwolf.com/prebancites.html for details.)
–It is illegal to send wildlife parts outside of the US without an import/export license, and paying inspection fees–just slapping a customs form on it at the post office isn’t enough. You can find more information on everything needed to legally mail wildlife parts out of the US at http://www.thegreenwolf.com/international.html - while the initial query was about deer parts, it applies to all wildlife. Both US Fish and Wildlife and US Customs have their own regulations, so you may want to inquire with both of them if you’re trying to send animal parts to other countries.
–Many states have restrictions on what animal parts may be possessed or sold. For example, wolf parts cannot be sold in California or New York, and since a seller cannot guarantee that a buyer in those states won’t resell them even though they said they were keeping them, most dealers in dead things won’t ship wolf parts there so as to avoid being held liable and potentially violating the Lacey Act of 1900.
Also, you won’t be exempted if you have the animal parts for religious purposes or if you happen to have Native American blood. Even enrolled tribe members have to wait in a waiting list for years to be approved for a single legal eagle feather, and people of numerous races have been arrested and fined for killing eagles for black market trade. I am unsure of the exceptions that are made to laws for enrolled Native Americans, and would appreciate any links and laws that would help me improve this collection in that regard.
Additionally, a little later this year, once states have had time to update their websites, I’ll be updating this resource; in the meantime, if you see something missing, please feel free to let me know :)
Also, feel free to reblog this if you think some of your readers would find it useful!