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(CMC) – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says its agriculture specialists at John F. Kennedy International Airport recently intercepted finches concealed within hair rollers in a black duffel bag belonging to a passenger who arrived on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana.
On Wednesday, CBP, said that during the course of the inspection on December 8, the agriculture specialists discovered 70 live finches.
“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 of Field Operations, New York Field Office.
CBP said a 2015 outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the US, commonly known as bird flu, “resulted in the culling of 50 million commercial turkeys and chickens and US$850 million in damages.
“The finches were detained under quarantine and turned over to United States Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services,” said CBP.
The passenger was not identified.