We’re not sure the Chinese understand just what it means to “contain” diseases and viruses coming out of their country. After all, what good is wearing a surgical mask on a flight when you have crammed several dozen dead birds into a bag for a 10 hour plus flight to the United States?
Alas, that’s exactly what happened two weeks ago: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, seized a bag of dead birds that was being carried in the luggage of an airline passenger traveling from China to Washington D.C. on January 27.
The birds were packaged in a bag that had cartoon images on it and was seized at Dulles Airport from a passenger, who was arriving from Beijing, according to the NY Post. The passenger claimed that the birds were “cat food” and that he was planning to bring them to Maryland after his flight.
Casey Durst, director of field operations for the agency’s Baltimore field office said: “Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists continue to exercise extraordinary vigilance every day in their fight to protect our nation’s agricultural and economic prosperity from invasive pests and animal diseases.”
“These dead birds are prohibited from importation to the United States as unprocessed birds pose a potentially significant disease threat to our nation’s poultry industries and more alarmingly to our citizens as potential vectors of avian influenza,” he concluded.