Problems importing insect pins

Bernard Landry bernard.landry at MHN.VILLE-GE.CH
Wed Oct 10 09:35:13 CDT 2001


Hello all,

I would certainly agree that removing pins from specimens is not a
good idea. And that we don't need more regulations than we already
have on carrying pinned specimens.

I hand-carried back to Switzerland a small box with 10 pinned
specimens on a September 26 flight from Montréal to Paris without any
problems. So perhaps the problem is restricted to the US, and perhaps
even to some particular customs officers.

Cheers,

Bernard

At 15:17 +1000 10.10.2001, Murray Fletcher wrote:
>It would be a bit difficult to pack holotype insect specimens in such a way
>because removing them from the pin would itself place the specimen at risk. I
>wonder whether the concern is not so much that the pins could be
>used as weapons
>but that an X-ray of a box of pinned insects shows up as a
>collection of little
>wires that might, to the untrained eye, look like some kind of device. Insects
>might be a camouflage of some kind used by a fiendishly clever villain. You
>would still need to have a high degree of paranoia to suspect such a packet of
>being something dangerous but a high degree of paranoia is (understandably)
>exactly what is gripping those responsible for airline safety.
>
>Murray
>
>Ken Kinman wrote:
>
>>  LOL,
>>       It hard to see anyone being intimidated by a hijacker wielding a
>>  1.5-inch insect pin.  It's so absurd, I would think the government regulator
>>  who dreamed up that one would become the butt of some appropriate jokes
>>  (What was he thinking?).
>>       But since getting rid of such regulations (once they are "on the
>>  books") is rather difficult and slow, couldn't entomologists remove the pins
>>  and just pack the insect specimens in plastic wrap, perhaps surrounded by
>>  cotton balls or other soft material?   We biologists should know best how to
>>  "adapt" to such changing conditions.
>>              --------Ken Kinman
>>  P.S.   I think I heard that ball-point pens were banned on some flights.
>>  Not that pencils and pens would personally make me nervous, but they seem
>>  far more a threat than insect pins.  If insect pins are "dangerous" then
>>  what next?---ban all books and paper, since a paper cut could get infected?
>>    I'd much rather have an entomologist with pinned insects next to me, than
>>  someone coughing and sneezing unhealthy germs into my air supply in such a
>>  confined space.  If he threatens me with an insect pin, I think I can handle
>>  that without too much trouble.  I could even counter-threaten to bite off
>>  his ear or beat him with my shoe.
>>            ---K.E.K.    :-)
>>  ********************************************
>>  >From: James Kruse <fnjjk1 at UAF.EDU>
>>  >Reply-To: James Kruse <fnjjk1 at UAF.EDU>
>>  >To: TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG
>>  >Subject: Re: Problems importing specimens
>>  >Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 11:27:35 -0800
>>  >
>>  >on 10/9/01 10:20 AM, Sally Shelton at Shelton.Sally at NMNH.SI.EDU wrote:
>>  >
>>  > >>>> David Furth 10/09/01 12:14 PM >>>
>>  >
>>  > > I have had definite confirmations from at least two persons that
>>  >tried/planned
>>  > > to hand-carry pinned insect specimens into the USA and were forbidden to
>>  >do
>>  > > so.  One was on British Airways and the other from Costa Rica via
>>  >American
>>  > > Airlines.
>>  > >
>>  > > We would appreciate some way of finding out if there is some policy
>>  >against
>>  > > bringing pinned insect specimens into the USA on board because the 1.5
>>  >inch
>>  > > very thin insect pins are considered as "dangerous weapons".  This is a
>>  > > serious concern for entomologists who routinely hand-carry important,
>>  >valuable
>>  > > specimens in order to protect them from the postal systems.
>>  >
>>  >As if specimen imports need to be made _more_ difficult. Was that really
>>  >the
>>  >reason behind forbidding those imports?
>  > >

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