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Dulles CBP Seizes Dead Birds From Passenger Arriving From China

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia seized a bag of tiny dead birds from a passenger arriving from China late last month amid growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

In a release published on Monday, CBP confirmed that the unidentified traveler arrived on a flight from Beijing on January 27.

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During a baggage examination, CBP agriculture specialists found a package with pictures of a cat and dog on it that the passenger claimed was cat food. However, inside were several unknown small birds ranging from approximately 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length.

The dead birds, which are prohibited for import due to the potential threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza, were seized on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and destroyed by incineration.

“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,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office, in a statement. “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.”

While certainly concerning, seizures like this one aren’t at all uncommon. In a typical day last year, CBP agriculture specialists across the nation seized 4,695 prohibited plant, meat, animal byproduct and soil, and intercepted 314 insect pests at U.S. ports of entry, the agency said.

Last year, CBP officers stopped a man attempting to smuggle 35 pounds of liquid cocaine inside of shampoo bottles at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. In 2018, a traveler was caught trying to smuggle 70 live birds in a carry-on bag at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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Strange Odor at Oakland Airport Sends Travelers to the Hospital

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We have seen more issues with strange odors on airplanes in the last year or so than at any time, some so severe they required a diverted landing.

Now comes word that another incident has taken place, only this time it was actually inside the airport.

Four people were taken to local hospitals by the Oakland (Calif.) Fire Department on Tuesday after an unknown substance began giving off a strange odor at Oakland International Airport.

According to Fox News, the odor came from a small box at one of the ticketing counters that is used to discard items that cannot be brought on a plane via carry-on bag – water bottles, bottles of cologne or mouthwash larger than three ounces, etc.

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The airport played it safe and called the fire department, which sent a Hazmat crew according to the NBC TV affiliate in the Bay Area. There was no disruption to airport services, though four people were taken to the hospital to be checked out for precautionary reasons.

This is the latest in a series of numerous reports of odors emanating from a plane or airport just in the last year or so alone, much less beyond that time frame.

Some have been fumes that have forced flights to land.

Some have forced flights to divert to other airports.

Some have been so overwhelming that passengers and crew were hospitalized.

And some have even been visible – if you like your airplane cabin filling with an unknown fog.

The Oakland Fire Dept. is still investigating the cause of the odor.

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