Also seized in recent days were 3 puppies and 2 budgies (parakeets)
Stars hidden in his suitcase: An Israeli resident in his 40s, an engineer by profession, was caught in Ben Gurion Airport trying to smuggle 13 starfish, sea urchins, puffer fish (known as Abu Nafah), Zaharon and Morna fish.
The Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, working in collaboration with Customs Inspectors at Ben Gurion Airport and the Nature and Parks Authority, found the fish that had made the long journey from Singapore, inside Styrofoam packaging. The inspectors' examination revealed that these creatures were brought into Israel in violation of the law, without import licenses and without the relevant health certificates. Thanks to cooperation with the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, the fish will be transported to the Israel Aquarium in Jerusalem – and will be nicknamed Jerusalem fish. An inquiry has been opened against the suspect.
In addition, over the past few days, Ministry of Agriculture inspectors have uncovered three more cases of animal smuggling into Israel. Ministry inspectors seized a puppy considered dangerous that was brought to Israel by an Israeli resident in his 20s who was returning from Eastern Europe, as well as 2 Spitz puppies brought to Israel by medical students studying in Eastern Europe. All the puppies were returned to the country of origin. They also found 2 young budgies (parakeet) parrots that were abandoned at the Ben Gurion Airport. Investigation revealed that a citizen of Eastern Europe who was staying in Israel abandoned them at the airport. The parrots were transferred by the Nature and Parks Authority to a petting zoo for at-risk youth, and an investigation was launched against all the suspects.
The Veterinary Services urge the public to check all the import requirements before they take any action that may be in violation of the law. The Ministry also stated that the public should be aware that various protections against imports are in place for different animals, including sweeping prohibitions on the importing of certain animals, as well as the international treaties regulating the field. The Ministry of Agriculture reiterates that shipping and flying animals into Israel which is not performed according to law, including importing without meeting the applicable import requirements or without quarantine, endangers the public and the animals, and may potentially result in the transmission of diseases to humans and to other animals in Israel.