U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a package of tiny dead birds from a passenger’s bag at Dulles International Airport in January.
The traveler arrived to D.C. on a flight from Beijing, China on Jan. 27. During a baggage examination, agriculture specialists discovered a package containing several small birds. The carrier said the birds were cat food.
The species of the birds is unknown, but they are banned in the U.S. from China because of their potential to carry bird flu.
“These dead birds are prohibited from importation to the United States as unprocessed birds pose a potentially significant disease threat to our nation’s poultry industries and more alarmingly to our citizens as potential vectors of avian influenza,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office.
The package was destroyed on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture by border protection agriculture specialists.
During a typical day last year, CBP agriculture specialists across the nation seized 4,695 prohibited plant, meat, animal byproduct and soil, and intercepted 314 insect pests at U.S. ports of entry, according to a Customs and Border Patrol press release.