This job really is going to the birds as U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agriculture specialists at John F. Kennedy International Airport discovered this past weekend.
On March 3, a Guyanese national, arrived on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana and was inspected by CBP officers. The CBP officers conducted an examination of the traveler’s hand-carry bag and discovered 20 live finches. The passenger was escorted by CBP officers to a private room to continue the inspection.
The passenger was further interviewed by CBP agriculture specialists who quarantined the 20 seized finches and issued a $300 fine to the traveler. The traveler was subsequently found inadmissible to the United States and was scheduled to be returned to Guyana later that day.
“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 Leon Hayward, Acting Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.
Birds, including pet birds, may also be subject to U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service regulations. Pet birds are regulated since they can carry viral and bacterial diseases of concern including Avian Influenza, Exotic Newcastle Disease and Psittacosis.
The seized birds were placed in a quarantine isolation crate and turned over to agents from U. S. Fish and Wildlife.