I have to say that I'm kind of surprised that so many "shippers" aren't familiar with IATA regulations. These are not newly set in place, though do get revisited from time to time. IATA was created for the benefit of the animals being transported, and while a lot of the "suggested" methods seem rather strange to me, the intent remains the same. Personally, I stick with the styro in a rigid cardboard primary whenever possible.
I have found that shipping domestically (with in Canada) is somewhat relaxed, but exporting CITES shipments is a different story. They do ask if the shipment meets IATA regulations and it even says right on the CITES documents that they will not be considered valid if the animals are not properly packaged.
Just a short quote from IATA's General Container Requirements for Reptiles and Amphibians (CR-41-47) paragraph 10
"If polystyrene boxes are used inside of cardboard boxes the walls of the polystyrene boxes must have a minimum thickness of 2cm (3/4 inch). If separate polystyrene panels are used they must be tighly fitted to each other within the primary enclosure with no gap to prevent escape and avoid injury............"
......and from page 243 container requirement 44, paragraph 9
"Plastic containers are permissable for snakes less than 60 cm (24 in) in length. These containers must be rigid and able to support the entire weight of all other containers when stacked upright and if turned upside down, without failing structurally (without bending, cracking, or collapsing). The size of these containers must enable the animals to have contact with their whole ventral surface to the floor of the container."
edited: I forgot to add that no where does it say that snakes over 24" must be shipped in a wooden crate..........they do have to be packed in bags (according to guidlines), but the primary container can conform to any described types, styro lined boxes included).
Also contained in this section are suggested box designs for every type of reptile/amphibian, most of which suggest wood (I won't get into all the requirements for that as it is pretty lengthy).
Last edited by NiagaraReptiles; 07-16-04 at 09:00 PM..