SAN LUIS, Ariz. — Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists assigned to the Port of San Luis seized two live parrots and a grocery bag of fresh mangos (with seeds) during an agriculture inspection July 1.
Officers referred a California couple for an intensive agriculture inspection when they attempted to enter the United States. During the inspection, a CBP agriculture specialist first located a bag of mangos with seeds. Another agriculture specialist then asked to inspect the passenger’s Elmo doll. After an x-ray of the doll revealed an anomaly inside, the doll was cut open to reveal two live parrots (conures).
The prohibited birds and fruit were seized under the Animal Health Protection Act and the Plant Protection Act.
The couple was fined $300, which they agreed to pay by mail, and released without further incident.
All birds imported into the United States (except birds from Canada), as distinguished from poultry or unaccompanied birds, must be quarantined for 30 days at a USDA bird quarantine facility. The importer is responsible for making necessary quarantine arrangements, as well as obtaining health certificates in the country of origin.
Birds, including pet birds, may also be subject to U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Services regulations. Pet birds are regulated since they can carry viral and bacterial diseases of concern including Avian Influenza, Exotic Newcastle Disease and Psittacosis.
The seized birds was placed in a quarantine isolation crate and transferred to a USDA-Veterinary Services bird holding facility. The seized mangos were destroyed on site as per United States Department of Agriculture approved destruction methods.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.