The latest in the ongoing saga of our fly shipment from the USA is that our packet of flies finally made it to the lab. They’ve been in transit for exactly three weeks*, and of course kept in in known conditions. I’m very grateful to various people at Animal Health, who were able to make an exception to the regulations.
Nonetheless, I think the application of tight control of over the international transport of live insects such as these is a bit over the top – the legislation that I’ve looked through seems principally aimed at commercially important farm stock and other animals important to the human food chain. I understand there’s a general unhappiness in the UK Drosophila research community, especially since the international postal union recently relaxed its regulations regarding the transport of live Drosophila through regular mail. I’m not particularly optimistic that we can make a change to the enforcement of the new regulations, but it’s most definitely worth a try.
*After their three week holiday (mostly spent at Stansted Airport), the fly vials are a bit smelly, but at least some of them still have living larvae in.