Thursday, 17 April 2014

Czech bird smugglers caught in Austria, one bird had lethal virus

12 June 2013

Vienna, June 11 (CTK) - The Vienna airport authorities on Thursday detained a Czech couple smuggling about 60 parrots and paradise birds from Asia, the Austrian press agency APA reported, adding that one of the birds that died during the transport contained H5N1, a bird flu virus transferrable to people.

The Czechs, who were heading for the Czech Republic, will be prosecuted at liberty.

The officers uncovered the bird smuggling within a routine check with the assistance of two sniffer dogs.

The birds were put in pipes the two Czechs carried in two bags.

Thirty-nine birds died during the transport.

The officers immediately handed all birds over to the agency for health protection and food safety, which found out that one of the dead birds suffered from H5N1 infection.

This virus was uncovered in eastern Asia in 2003. It has hit 630 people since, 375 of whom died, according to the WHO statistics.

Austrian vets have preventively put down all the surviving smuggled birds whose samples will be tested now.

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