Escobares, Texas - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Rio Grande City station seized smuggled roosters near the community of Escobares early Saturday evening.
Agents patrolling the area of the Rio Grande noticed fresh footprints leading north from the river. The agents tracked the foot sign, which led them to a large crate of 20 live roosters.
The birds and crate were seized and Border Patrol agents transported the live animals to the Rio Grande City port of entry where personnel from CBP's Office of Field Operations assumed custody of the birds. The roosters were subsequently transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Service's where they remain in quarantine.
"The Border Patrol's mission is to secure our nation's borders from all threats," Chief Patrol Agent Ronald D. Vitiello said.
While it is likely that these roosters were smuggled for the purpose of illegal gambling, or breeding, they can be a threat to public health. Roosters are known to carry a variety of diseases which may pose a threat to the poultry industry.
To report suspicious activity, contact the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector's toll-free telephone number at 1-800-863-9382.
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.