Laramie – An Idaho couple recently paid fines in Wyoming for transporting live pheasant chicks without permits.

In April of 2021, West Cheyenne Game Warden Spencer Carstens received a tip from a concerned citizen about an online advertisement offering day-old pheasant chicks for sale. A husband and wife wanted to raise pheasants on their small Idaho farm. “A previous order for live birds had apparently resulted in them receiving a number of birds which had died during transport. This time around, they opted to bolster their effort by personally picking up the birds in Wisconsin.” Carstens said, “To help cover their travel expenses, they more than doubled their original order and then tried to sell the extra birds on the trip back home.”

Wyoming has long been careful to minimize risk in the handling or movement of live wildlife. “An introduced animal can be very dangerous to the ecosystem, as it will often compete with local wildlife for similar resources, it may carry diseases or parasites local animals have not developed immunities to, and, in some cases, may interbreed with native species and dilute natural genetics,” Carstens says. “Even though a species may not cause problems in its native land, subtle differences may allow them to quickly become problems in a new environment.”

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has enacted a number of regulations covering the possession of live wildlife (Chapter 10), game bird farms (Chapter 40), scientific research (Chapter 33), with still more rules specifically applying to specialized activities such as possessing raptors for falconry purposes (Chapter 25). Wyoming Livestock Board regulations also cover the movement of most live animals in order to further protect the health of Wyoming’s animals, the livestock industry, and the general public. Both agencies require paperwork certifying the health of imported animals.

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