Customs agents at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday discovered 70 live finches hidden within hair rollers in a passenger’s luggage. The birds were detained under quarantine and turned over to United States Department of Agriculture Veterinary Service. The passenger was arriving from Georgetown, Guyana. “CBP Agriculture Specialists are the first line of defense to prevent the introduction of animal diseases that have the potential to cause significant damage to the Nation’s agricultural economy,” said Troy Miller, a director at the New York field office. A 2015 outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the U.S.—bird flu—resulted in the culling of 50 million commercial turkeys and chickens and $850 million in damages.
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