more on bird smuggling: an extensive problem

A GOVERNMENT inquiry has been launched into an illegal bird-smuggling
racket that has exposed serious flaws in Ireland’s defences against
avian flu.

A Sunday Times investigation has revealed that a consignment of
exotic birds was brought illegally into Rosslare harbour on Good
Friday and sold to dealers in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Wexford,
Limerick and Portlaoise, even though officials had detailed knowledge
of the plans in advance. Up to 30 of the birds died in transit and
were dumped in plastic bags in the midlands.

Some of the birds are believed to have come from eastern Europe,
where the deadly H5N1 virus has been confirmed. The carcasses have
not been recovered. The remaining birds, dispatched across Ireland,
have not been quarantined, despite being transported with the dead

Under EU and Irish law, the agriculture department must be told 24
hours before birds can be imported into Irish ports and airports, but
breeders say thousands of birds are brought illegally into Ireland
each year.

The trade in wild birds is highly lucrative, second only to drug
dealing. A special unit has been established by the NPWS to crack
down on the illegal trapping and trading of wild birds and several
prosecutions are pending….

Officials fail to halt bird smugglers