As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Airport bird smuggling bid thwarted

20 MAY 2013

Attempts to bring live fighting birds through a British airport in suitcases were "astonishing", Border Force has said.

Two separate attempts to smuggle the birds into the UK were discovered at Leeds Bradford Airport. They had been placed in individual wooden cages inside the cases.

Border Force said the smugglers tried to bring in nine grey francolin birds, which are native to South Asia and often bred for fighting.

A spokesman said that on both occasions they were hidden inside suitcases belonging to passengers arriving at the airport on flights from Islamabad.

Four birds were found on May 4 and five on May 11.

Sam Bullimore, Border Force assistant director at Leeds Bradford Airport, said: "These were astonishing smuggling attempts, of a kind we have not seen before at Leeds Bradford.

"Our officers are trained to expect the unexpected, but were surprised when they realised just what the passengers were smuggling.

"It is vitally important that unregulated attempts to bring livestock into the UK are stopped, to protect the health of both animals and humans and to prevent animal cruelty."

He said information relating to these seizures was passed to Leeds City Council, which is carrying out an investigation.

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