It was a bird-brained scheme that landed one passenger arriving into New York through John F. Kennedy International Airport in a hairy situation. On Saturday, U. S. Customs and Border Protection stopped a passenger arriving from Guyana and discovered they were carrying 70 live birds hidden in hair rollers in a black duffel bag.
The finches were detained under quarantine and turned over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services. U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of field operations in New York Troy Miller said the team's agriculture specialists at the airport were the first line of defense against introduced animal diseases.
A 2015 outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the U.S., commonly known as bird flu, resulted in the culling of 50 million commercial turkeys and chickens and $850 million in damages, he said.