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CBP Seizes 32 Live Birds from Passengers Arriving from Spain

Release Date: 
June 4, 2019

Importation of live birds requires a permit from the US Department of Agriculture

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport  seized on Friday, 32 live birds in the hand carried luggage of a passenger arriving from Madrid, Spain. 

“Prohibited agricultural items can harbor plant pests and foreign animal diseases that could seriously damage our regional crops, livestock, and the environment – and a large sector of our country’s economy,” indicated Edwin Cruz, San Juan Area Port Director.  “Prohibited items that are not declared by passengers are confiscated and disposed of by CBP agriculture specialists.” 

On May 31, two Spanish passengers arriving from Madrid under the Visa Waiver Program once orally interviewed declared the transportation of six live birds to a CBP officer.  During secondary inspection CBP Agriculture Specialists discovered a total of 32 live birds with rare colors and unique markings.   The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services was contacted .

Live birds can be brought to the US if USDA regulations are followed
Live birds can be brought to the United
States if USDA regulations are followed

All birds were seized by CBP Agriculture Specialist and custody was transferred  to USDA Veterinary Services.  

Live animals and birds may enter the United States subject to certification, certain permits, inspection, and quarantine rules that vary greatly with the type of animal and its origin and can also be subject to restrictions by some state departments of agriculture.

For general information and permit application to import live animals, contact the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services, National Center for Import and Export (NCIE) at (301) 851-3300 or email at  

For further information on bringing agricultural products to the United States visit our CBP website.

Follow us on Twitter @CBPCaribbean.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021