Pheasants Without Borders

Because of MacFarlane Pheasants’ location in Wisconsin and because of our role as the largest pheasant farm in the United States, we have many customers in Canada. But sending pheasants abroad isn’t as simple as just slapping extra postage on their crates. In order to connect our customers with their birds it takes a village’s worth of paperwork, a familiarity with Canadian culture, and help from a variety of national offices on both sides of the border.

Right now MacFarlane Pheasants is in our busy adult bird season. Before each order, has been shipped off, it goes through an internal audit to ensure the price we’ve quoted our customer and the number of birds they ordered matches up with the invoice. We also ensure that health certificates are correct and add-ons like feed are included. But after all this, our international orders still require a variety of clearances before they’re shipped off to Canada.

Once our initial audit checks out, we begin to arrange the birds’ international health certificates, which require the cooperation with both countries’ governments. On the U.S. side, we contact the Wisconsin Federal veterinarian, who gives his seal of approval. It’s emailed to the Canadian veterinarian, and then to the broker, who acts as our intermediary to take the birds through customs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife representative also is included in the loop to sign off. In the end, each international order requires about six more pages of documents, many of which require the go-ahead from state and country representatives.

We have such a vibrant business in Canada that we’ve gotten to know these respective institutions’ representatives pretty well, or as well as you can through email. This works in our favor, especially with the Canadian side, since their holidays do not always match up with the U.S. For instance, Canada’s Thanksgiving is on October 13, and since it’s a national holiday, offices are closed. Our paperwork has to be submitted prior to this date to ensure that our customers get their birds as scheduled. We’re lucky to have such a great Canadian vet, who helps keep us abreast of these international differences.

Every day, we audit four to 10 invoices, with anywhere from 10 birds up to 3,000+. Add to this workload the fact that a few of our Canadian customers have weekly deliveries, meaning that this process must be repeated and without error. There’s not time enough to correct mistakes, so everything must go according to schedule, regardless of what country or state our customers reside. We’ve become deft at navigating these international waters through the skill of our employees and the help of government officials both regionally and internationally.
Pheasants Without Borders

Pheasants Without Borders

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