Passenger Caught Trying To Smuggle Live Birds At JFK Airport

December 12, 2018 - 5:57 pm

NEW YORK (WBCS 880) — A passenger was caught at JFK Airport trying to smuggle 70 live birds concealed within hair rollers.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents said the passenger was arriving from Georgetown, Guyana.

During their inspection, agents uncovered 70 live finches stuffed inside hair rollers and concealed in a black duffle bag.

Smuggled Finches
U. S. Customs and Border Protection

“CBP Agriculture Specialists are the first line of defense to prevent the introduction of animal diseases that have the potential to cause significant damage to the Nation’s agricultural economy,” said Troy Miller, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office.

The small birds were turned over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services.

The traveler who attempted to smuggle the birds into the country was not admitted and was instead returned home, according to a CBP spokesman.

A 2015 outbreak of avian influenza, informally known as bird flu, in the US resulted in the culling of 50 million commercial turkeys and chickens as well as $850 million in damages, the CBP said.

The finches remain under quarantine.

Smuggled Finches
U. S. Customs and Border Protection