Via The Vancouver Sun: Vancouver songbird smuggler fined $7,500. Excerpt:
A Vancouver resident has been fined for trying to smuggle a suitcase full of songbirds into the city from China, violating a ban on all pet bird imports from that country, where avian flu is considered endemic.
Kwok Sing Lee, 67, was ordered to pay $7,500 Thursday after pleading guilty in Richmond Provincial Court to two offences under the Health of Animals Act.
On April 13, Lee was returning to Canada through the Vancouver International Airport on a flight from Guangzhou in southern China. A border dog named Lady, trained to detect agricultural goods, sniffed out his carry-on suitcase at the baggage carousel area after he had presented customs officers with his completed declaration card, on which he indicated he did not have birds.
Officers from the Canada Border Services Agency then opened the bag and discovered wooden crates containing 29 birds. Eight were dead, having perished en route.
Lee later told the officers he had purchased the birds from a market in China and stowed them in the overhead compartment. He confirmed the birds had not been inspected.
Lee was carrying three species: the melodious laughing thrush, the red-billed leiothrix and the Oriental magpie-robin.
I believe the last species mentioned is one that turns up regularly in Hong Kong, killed by H5N1.