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Birdchick Blog: Pigeon Smuggling? Seriously?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pigeon Smuggling? Seriously?

People are smuggling pigeons? I'm against smuggling, but I understand when people try it with something like a parrot, but pigeons? From the AP:

LEWISTON, N.Y. (AP) — Border agents pulled four live birds from the pockets of a pigeon collector and a traveling companion trying to enter the United States from Canada.

The pair were stopped Sunday at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge border crossing, where they told inspectors they were on their way to visit an uncle in LeRoy, outside Rochester, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Kevin Corsaro said.

Inspectors found the pigeons wrapped and taped from neck to tail in pockets of the pair's coats after they asked the men from Uxbridge, Ontario, to remove their jackets.

One man told CBP officers he is a pigeon collector who belongs to a club that trades and sells birds of various colors. He said he was taking the birds to trade or sell to his uncle.

The men, whose names were not released, were fined $1,000 and the case was referred to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and United States Department of Agriculture inspectors for possible criminal charges, Corsaro said.

People bringing pet birds into the country are required to arrange for a veterinary inspection at the border three to five days before entering to protect against the transmission of communicable diseases such as bird flu.

USDA inspectors took custody of the birds.


Blogger dguzman said...

Once you get past the joke of it, you gotta wonder what the hell these guys were thinking--I mean, those birds could've had all kinds of diseases, parasites, etc.! I hope they bust the uncle too--these guys are irresponsible kooks!

1/02/2008 7:30 AM  
Blogger Liz Jones said...

We got the Flying Circus box set for Xmas, and for a second, while I was reading your blog entry, I thought it had escaped from the DVD.

1/02/2008 10:41 AM  
Blogger bluesaffron said...

That's a funny story!

They should have put the pigeons under their toques instead of in their jacket pockets.

The strange part is, at the border going into Canada they'll let just about everything and everyone in with very few's a fact.

Those canucks are sure wacky, eh!


1/02/2008 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Moe said...

Although smuggling is bad, it's sort of strange that smuggling pigeons across the border is a crime. Don't pigeons routinely fly between Canada and the US? And aren't there millions of pigeons doing so? I don't think a few whacky Canucks with some pigeons are going to spread any diseases.

1/02/2008 3:52 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Actually, pigeons don't carry any more disease than other birds do...they just get a bad rap due to persistent comparisons to rats, also much-maligned by society.
I'd highly recommend the book "Pigeons : the fascinating saga of the world's most revered and reviled bird" by Andrew D. Blechman. It gives insight into the stories of pigeons throughout history. It also offers a perspective regarding how fanatical pigeon breeders and hobbyists can be. Interesting stuff, and after reading it, I have a lot more respect for the birds. Obviously, the hapless Canadians could've been case studies for the book!

1/02/2008 9:29 PM  
Anonymous carole in nj said...

I heard the reason people snatch up the pigeons is because they get money for them as a neighborhood gentrification tactic. "Clean up the city." There have been several articles in the free newspapers I read on the subways in NYC. Some people think it's animal cruelty, some people welcome their departure.

1/03/2008 6:57 PM  
Blogger Born Again Bird Watcher said...

OK, since no one else has said it, I guess I'll have to do so: "Is that a pigeon in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?"

1/05/2008 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The men in detained at the border were of Middle Eastern Discent. Pigeon collecting is a hobby of many in the Middle East But They are also used for latherious reasons, such as communications between subjects in Canada and the U.S. No Cell Phones Needed!

Purchasing a loaf of bread.....$1.19
Purchasing a net..........$8.99
Sitting in park throwing bread..Free

Getting caught smuggling 4 pigeons into the country..........$1000.00

Making the News in 2 countries portrayed as a complete idiot with a friend...Priceless

2/18/2008 10:18 PM  

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