Nearly 30 finches found concealed in hair rollers inside man’s luggage at JFK Airport

Queens

Photo provided by: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — A man from Guyana did not make it past John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport Sunday after 29 live finches were found in his baggage. The birds were hidden inside several colorful hair rollers.

Photo provided by: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The 26-year-old was traveling from Georgetown, Guyana to New Jersey when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discovered the finches during a secondary baggage examination. In a news release, CBP said he was not criminally charged, but will have to pay a $300 civil penalty. He was put on a plane back to Guyana on Monday.

The finches were quarantined and put in the care of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services.

Photo provided by: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The reason federal agencies take swift action in situations like this is because of the risk of introducing the bird flu into the U.S. poultry industry.

The industry was dealt a big blow during a 2015 outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than 50 million chickens and turkeys in the U.S. died or were intentionally killed to stop the spread of the disease. They said that is about 12% of the country’s egg-laying population and 8% of the estimated turkeys raised for meat. As for the economic impact, losses were estimated at more than $1 billion.

CBP said during a regular day in 2020, they seized 3,091 prohibited plant, meat, animal byproducts, and soil, and intercepted 250 insect pests at U.S. ports of entry nationwide.

CBP could not say why the birds were being brought into the country, but previous news reports indicate finches have been smuggled and sold for bird singing competitions.

Photo provided by: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Queens Videos

Queens residents faced with paperwork, inspections after Ida flooding

Iron work on display at Steel Day in Queens

Free clothes, school supplies handed out at Queens community event

COBA president: Union was not informed about NYC's emergency Rikers relief plan

Queens hostage situation ends with NYPD officer’s husband in custody after shootout: police

Fire creates chaos, concern at Queens hospital

More Queens

Connect with PIX11 Online

Connect with PIX11 Online

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

@PIX11News on Twitter