US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Live Birds Seized By CBP at JFK

Release Date: 
July 3, 2018

JAMAICA, N.Y. — The bird is the word as U. S. Customs and Border Protection Officers and Agriculture Specialists at John F. Kennedy International Airport discovered this past weekend.

Live Birds Seized at JFK
Live Birds Seized at JFK

On June 5, a Guyanese citizen, arrived on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana and was inspected by CBP Officers.  The CBP Officers conducted an examination of the traveler’s computer bag and discovered eight live finches concealed inside a hidden compartment. The passenger was escorted by CBP Officers to a private room to continue the inspection.

The passenger was further interviewed by CBP Agriculture Specialists who quarantined the eight seized finches and issued a $300 fine to the traveler.  The traveler was admitted to the United States.

“CBP’s Agriculture Specialists protect our country every day from pests and diseases, the introduction of an animal or plant borne pest or disease could have a devastating impact on America’s Agricultural industry." said Frank Russo, CBP Port Director, JFK International Airport.

Birds, including pet birds, are regulated since they can carry viral and bacterial diseases of concern including Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease and Psittacosis.  They may also be subject to U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service regulations.

The seized birds were placed in a quarantine isolation crate and turned over to personnel from  U. S. Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Services.

In 2018, CBP at JFK has stopped six bird smuggling attempts, seizing a total of 114 birds.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021