According to the agency, on 27 January, a traveller arrived to Dulles International Airport on a flight from Beijing and was headed to an address in Prince George’s County. Agricultural specialists examined the person’s bags and found a mostly transparent package with pictures of a dog and cat printed on it. Inside the bag were several tiny dead, dried birds, about two-and-a-half inches to three-and-a-half inches long that the passenger said were cat food.
The CBP quickly confiscated the package, and its contents were incinerated. According to the agency, the birds, which were from China, are not allowed to be imported to the United States because of the potential threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu.
Because the packaging seems to indicate they are sold as pet food in China, they might not have caught the attention of Chinese officials, the CBP said.
“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,” Casey Durst, director of field operations for the CBP’s Baltimore field office said in a news release.
“Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists continue to exercise extraordinary vigilance every day in their fight to protect our nation’s agricultural and economic prosperity from invasive pests and animal diseases.”
During a typical day last year, the CBP agriculture specialists across the nation seized 4,695 prohibited plant, meat, animal by-product and soil specimens, and intercepted 314 insect pests at US ports of entry.
The Washington Post