NEW YORK (KRON) – A traveler was caught trying to smuggle 70 live birds in a carry-on bag through John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, the unidentified passenger, who flew in from Georgetown, Guyana, was caught with 70 live finches found inside hair rollers in a black duffel bag.
The birds were taken into custody, detained under quarantine, and turned over to the U.S. Department of Veterinary Services.
“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, in a statement.
Officials noted the 2015 outbreak of bird flu which resulted in $850 million in damages.