A Guyanese was on June 5th nabbed by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport with eight live finches concealed in a hidden compartment in his computer bag.
According to a CBP release, the man arrived on a flight from Georgetown and was examined by the CBP officers.
Following the find the passenger was interviewed by CBP Agriculture Specialists who quarantined the eight finches and issued a US$300 fine to the traveler. The traveler was admitted to the United States.
“CBP’s Agriculture Specialists protect our country every day from pests and diseases, the introduction of an animal or plant borne pest or disease could have a devastating impact on America’s Agricultural industry.” said Frank Russo, CBP Port Director, JFK International Airport in the press release.
According to the release, birds, including pet birds, are regulated since they can carry viral and bacterial diseases of concern including Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease and Psittacosis. They may also be subject to U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service regulations.
The seized birds were placed in a quarantine isolation crate and turned over to personnel from the US Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Services.
In 2018, CBP at JFK stopped six bird-smuggling attempts, seizing a total of 114 birds, the release said.