Sun, Aug 10, 2014 - Page 7 News List

US to review its ivory rules after bagpipes seized

AP, CONCORD, New Hampshire

The US Fish and Wildlife Service will review its rules about ivory imports after two teenagers’ bagpipes were seized at the Canadian border, a spokesman said on Friday.

The spokesman, Neil Mendelsohn, said customs agents were following established laws designed to prevent the import and export of illegally harvested ivory when they seized pipes belonging to Campbell Webster and Eryk Bean, two 17-year-olds who compete on an international level.

Ivory harvested since 1976 is banned in the US.

“Our headquarters is examining this and looking at the policy and the regulations, understanding that musicians do have a unique situation,” Mendelsohn said.

“We try to be reasonable, but for right now the rules are the rules. Any instrument these days could be made from elephant parts that might not be an antique,” he added.

The discord started on Sunday when Campbell and Eryk were driving back from Canada where they attended a competition that served as a tuneup for next weekend’s World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

Campbell’s pipes date to 1936 and were played by his father, Gordon Webster, who was the Ninth Sovereign Piper to Queen Elizabeth II of England.

Because the teens were using a “nondesignated” border crossing, they needed extra permits and inspection fees totaling US$576 to carry the pipes, with their ivory projecting mounts, across the border.

However, they did not have the necessary paperwork and the bagpipes were confiscated for a day.

The boys eventually got their pipes back and are in Glasgow, where their adventure has been the talk of the competition, Campbell’s mother, Lezlie, said on Friday.

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