Ministry of Agriculture inspectors uncovered over 80 birds of different species with no import license and without health certificates
Among the surprises: 14 birds worth 14,000 NIS and about 70 goldfinches
In a joint operation, inspectors from the veterinary services at the Ministry of Agriculture and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority arrested a traveler returning from Belgium who attempted to pass through the green route at Natbag, where he aroused the inspectors’ suspicion. In an inspection they were surprised to discover no less than 14 (!!) Birds stashed in his suitcase. The birds are estimated to cost 14,000 NIS. The winged creatures had been brought in without an import license from the head of the veterinary services in the Ministry of Agriculture and without certificates of health as required by law. The smuggler, a man in his 40s, Israeli resident and owner of a bird breeding farm, had smuggled the birds intending to sell them in Israel. The birds were confiscated and the suspect was remanded for interrogation.
A few hours afterwards, in a separate case, inspectors from the Central Investigation and Enforcement Unit (PITZUACH) in the Ministry of Agriculture apprehended two Israeli residents who had attempted to cross at the Hizma crossing, carrying a cargo of 70 goldfinches. The inspectors’ inquiry concluded that the birds had arrived without a veterinary health certificate and had not undergone the tests required for importing birds to Israel. The interrogation found that the suspects had intended to sell the birds but were caught before they were able to get past the crossing. The suspects were remanded for interrogation and the birds were returned to the Judea and Samaria territories.
Dr. Zvika Avni, veterinarian in charge of the veterinary services in the Ministry of Agriculture at Natbag: “Animals, and especially birds, arriving from abroad without proper health certificates and licenses as required are a hazard, they can potentially spread diseases such as: avian flu, and could severely harm animal health”.