Global Warmings

Northwest Airlines Bans Shipment of All Animals as Airmail

“This is going to affect anybody who wants to get poultry through the mail, whether it be little Susie’s 4-H project or a school incubating eggs. It’s every feed store in the country that depends on their birds to come in through the mail.” Complaint of Murray McMurray Hatchery to The Des Moines Register, Aug. 4

As of August 15, 2001, Northwest Airlines announced it will stop carrying newborn chicks, ducklings, goslings, and other animals for the U.S. Postal Service, thereby joining the majority of carriers, including Federal Express and United Parcel Service, who refuse to transport live animals for the Postal Service. Worried about the effect of Northwest’s decision on its business, Murray McMurray, which is located outside Minneapolis-St Paul where Northwest Airlines is based, told The Des Moines Register (Aug. 4) it can’t see why carriers would “choose to take a perfumed letter rather than a chicken.”

On its web site at, Murray McMurray Hatchery is urging its customers and fellow businesses to lobby Congress to force the U.S. Postal Service to require airlines to ship live birds by mail. (Some airlines will ship live birds as cargo, but as mail; cargo is more expensive.)

What Can I Do?
  • Thank Northwest Airlines for choosing to stop shipping newborn chicks and other animals as airmail. Tell them how much you appreciate their humane decision. Contact:

    Ms. Cindy Scheer, Director
    Customer and Sales Support
    Northwest Airlines
    Customer Relations, Mail Stop C6590
    PO Box 11875
    St Paul, MN 55111-3034
    Or Via the Talk to Us section at
    Or by phone: 612-726-2046 (Mon-Fri 7AM - 7PM)

  • Contact Your Members of Congress. Tell them to oppose any proposed legislation that would let the U.S. Postal Service force the airlines to ship live birds and other animals as airmail. The stress of airmail shipping for newborn birds and other animals includes injury, malnutrition, water deprivation, poor ventilation, crowding, and fear for these animals. Airmail shipping may take days including stopovers, delayed flights, and long distances. It is cruel and inhumane.

    Your Two Senators:

    The Honorable __________
    U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    Dear Senator __________

    Your House Representative:

    The Honorable __________
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Representative __________

    To learn who your House Representative and Senators are, and your congressional district if you’re not sure, call the 24 hour Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.