Ivory Issue Sandbags Canadian Pipers

The federal government’s policy of targeting ivory smugglers has deflated an eastern Montana community’s tradition of hosting Canadian bagpipers.

The Billings Gazette reports that for the first time in nearly 20 years, the Glasgow Homecoming Weekend Festival won’t include the Saskatoon Police Pipes and Drums.

The pipe and drum corps has declined to make the trip because they fear their ivory-tipped instruments would be seized by U.S. border officials.

Border agents seized bagpipes from two New Hampshire teenagers earlier this summer as they attempted to return from a music competition in Canada. The teens got their pipes back after contacting their congressional delegation.

The United States bans importation of ivory harvested after 1976. People who cannot prove the age of their ivory also risk having it taken away.