Posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2009
GBG Director David Waters has just returned from Russia with nineteen Great Bustards which are currently in quarantine at the GBG’s Wiltshire quarantine unit …
On Wednesday night (August 12th), I returned to the UK with 19 Great Bustards. They are now in the GBG quarantine unit back in Wiltshire and are all well. The paper chase in Russia was more fraught than usual with several documents only appearing with hours to spare, or minutes in one case. I am sure I will have aged considerably over the last week, but the import was successful.
Dyakovka Field Station (image 1)
Dyakovka Field Station (image 2)
Sign outside Dyakovka Field Station
Oleg and Volodir fitting crates with absorbant lining
The journey for the birds is a long one, as it is for me. The birds are carried in custom made crates which conform to all the air freight regulations. These are used only once and we must burn them once the birds are in the quarantine unit. The drive from the field station to Moscow is usually started at 2 or 3 pm and then goes non stop through the night to reach Moscow Domodedovo airport at about 7am. This allows time for the birds to be fed before going onto the next stage of paperwork and permissions which takes us through to 3pm, with the birds being loaded onto the plane at about 4.30pm for a 5.10 take off.
Preparing food for the chicks at the airport
The export team: drivers, accountants, translator, Institute Director with David
Once at Heathrow the excellent staff of James Cargo and the London Animal Reception Centre finish the paperwork and the birds are inside the GBG quarantine unit before midnight.
They now have a series of veterinary inspections before the 30 days of quarantine is completed.
All photographs copyright David Waters/GBG 2009