Cnews: Weird News reported Tuesday that 22 year-old Devin William Warrilow of Minburn, Alberta pleaded guilty to a violation of the ‘Health of Animals Act’ for failing to report his thermos-sized transportation of bull semen into Canada. For this, Warrilow faces fines of up to $5,000.
On February 26th, 2008, Warrilow and a passenger were returning to Alberta from a three-day trip through North Dakota, where they claimed to be visiting different area ranches. They were stopped at the Canadian customs station in Del Bonita, Alberta and asked to declare any purchases made while in the states, per customs regulations. Warrilow reported around $260 of purchases, but “appeared nervous” with his answers, and when the customs officials searched his vehicle, they found a Thermos bottle in the fan shroud near the radiator of the engine which housed ‘14 straws’ of ‘bovine germplasm.’
According to Warrilow, the only reason he smuggled the semen was two avoid the nearly three-hour delay it would take at the border to legally transport said product. Warrilow would have had to attain a Canadian Food Inspection Agency Import Permit, a zoosanitary export certificate, and a border inspection. In short, the legal transport of bull semen is a bureaucratic headache.
To the uninitiated, this may sound surprising, but the bovine artificial insemination industry is a booming, high-volume, and fertile market for ranchers and farmers worldwide. For example, recently in Wisconsin, GazetteXtra reported a string of recent bull-semen thefts which, depending on the bull who sourced the germplasm, can be worth tens-of-thousands of dollars. Additionally, as recently as 2008, the United States exported up to $12.6 million worth of bull semen overseas to Iran.
If there is a moral to this story, it is that you should declare every item you bring from one side of the border to the other. Otherwise, like Warrilow, you’ll end up in a sticky mess.