UPS Caught Lying to Customers About Hunting Trophy Policy

PETA Demands That the Company Stop Misleading the Public, End the Shipping of Animal Heads and Body Parts

For Immediate Release:
December 22, 2015

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

While many companies reacted to the high-profile killing of Cecil the lion by banning the shipment of animal heads and other hunting trophies, UPS continues to allow it. But concerned callers have repeatedly been given various false assurances that UPS either prohibits or restricts the shipment of these animal parts, prompting PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—to send a letter to the company this morning demanding that it immediately stop misleading customers about its hunting trophy policy.

“If UPS wants to keep customers who are rightly appalled by the thought of gunning down elephants, lions, rhinos, bears, and other wildlife for the sake of a grisly trophy, it needs to adopt a policy against shipping these animals’ body parts,” says PETA Foundation Director of Animal Law Jared Goodman. “PETA is calling on UPS to stop lying to customers or, better yet, to just stop shipping hunting trophies.”

Just yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that lions in central and western Africa will be listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, while lions in southern and eastern Africa will be classified as threatened—meaning that, soon, it will be difficult for trophy hunters to import lions’ heads but that other wild animals are still in danger.

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PETA’s letter to UPS follows.

December 22, 2015

Via e-mail

David Abney
Chief Executive Officer, UPS

Thomas F. Jensen
Senior Vice President of Transportation Policy and Public Affairs, UPS

Re:      False statements regarding UPS’ policy on shipments of hunting trophies

Dear Messrs. Abney and Jensen:

I am counsel to PETA and write to demand that UPS immediately cease making apparently false and deceptive claims regarding its policy and practices concerning the shipping of hunting trophies, the heads and other body parts of wild animals killed by hunters. As detailed below, UPS’ employees are informing the public that the company’s policy prohibits or restricts shipping hunting trophies, which directly contradicts UPS’ actual policy, as communicated to PETA by Mr. Jensen.

On October 27,[1] during a telephone conversation with Tracy Reiman, Executive Vice President of PETA, Mr. Jensen stated that UPS’ position remains the same:  that the company ships what is legal. On November 11, Ms. Reiman e-mailed Mr. Abney to inform him that PETA continued to receive reports that customers are being misled about UPS’ policy regarding the shipping of hunting trophies. On November 13, Mr. Jensen left a voicemail for Ms. Reiman not to confirm the existence of a new policy that prohibits or restricts shipping hunting trophies, but to ask for the content of statements that UPS’ employees have made to callers who are concerned about UPS’ policy and for the names of those employees. Ms. Reiman replied that day with the first names of some employees who had provided callers with false and/or misleading information, and she asked for Mr. Jensen’s “assurance that all customer service reps will be told not to lie or misrepresent UPS’ policy to continue shipping the slaughtered heads and bodies of elephants, rhinos, lions and other animals.” On November 20, Ms. Reiman e-mailed to Mr. Jensen a collection of additional apparently false and/or misleading statements made by UPS’ employees. On December 11, Mr. Jensen confirmed receipt of Ms. Reiman’s November 13 e-mail, but did not address the statements or UPS’ policy in any way.

Despite PETA’s repeated efforts to assure that UPS will cease misleading customers, UPS’ employees continue to make apparently false and/or misleading statements to customers who are concerned about the shipping of hunting trophies. Several examples of such statements are as follows, made during the month of November alone:

  • UPS no longer ships the bodies of wild animals, only domesticated animals such as sheep and pigs.
  • UPS already has a policy against shipping trophies of animal parts.
  • UPS does not ever ship animals’ parts, period.
  • As of November 11, UPS has an update that they no longer ship hunting trophies.
  • UPS does not ship wildlife trophies.
  • UPS prohibits shipment of mammals, including lion heads as trophies, but not the shipment of non-mammals.
  • UPS does not ship any animals from hunting, only “decorational” animal parts like those made into shoes, jewelry, etc. This is a new policy (but the employee could not find the date that it went into effect).

As recently as December 9, a UPS employee told a caller that UPS has restrictions in place. When asked what those restrictions were, the employee stated that employees received a memo last month that UPS no longer ships wildlife hunting trophies. PETA has not heard from you that this is true and is therefore obliged to conclude, based on Mr. Jensen’s communications with Ms. Reiman, that it is a misrepresentation.

Please contact me to confirm that the company will immediately cease making false and deceptive representations, or better, that UPS has indeed implemented a policy to prohibit the shipment of wildlife hunting trophies, as your employees have indicated to callers. The failure to do so will leave PETA with no choice but to review all of our options, including a complaint to authorities and a potential class action lawsuit, considering the fundamental inconsistency between the employees’ statements and Mr. Jensen’s reiteration to Ms. Reiman that UPS’ policy is to ship what is legal, which includes hunting trophies, and his request to know which employees had informed callers that the company had stopped such shipments. We will also be advising the public that UPS’ statements conflict with its stated official policy.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Jared Goodman Signature



Jared Goodman
Director of Animal Law

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