A MAN who tried to illegally import a pair of exotic birds into the UK has been stung with a hefty fine.
Abdul Ghafar, of Normandy Road, Perry Barr, had arrived on a flight from Pakistan in December last year. But when Customs staff at Birmingham Airport checked Ghafar’s luggage, they found two Francolin Partridges inside plywood boxes.
Because of the bird flu threat, it’s not permitted to import wild birds from outside the European Union (EU).
When quizzed by Solihull Council, Ghafar said that he had bought the birds from a Pakistani pet shop. He said that security at Islamabad Airport had charged him 2,000 rupees to transport the birds and he assumed it was legal to bring them into the UK.
Once in the country, the partridges were isolated at the defendant’s home. They were destroyed humanely after Ghafar decided he did not want to pay the cost of having them re-exported.
But appearing at Solihull Magistrates Court, Ghafar pleaded guilty to breaking animal regulations. He was ordered to pay a fine and costs of nearly £1,000.
Coun Diana Holl-Allen, cabinet member for safer communities, said: “I hope this serves as a firm reminder to others that there are strict rules around the import and export of birds to prevent the spread of bird ‘flu.”
* If you’re concerned about an animal’s welfare call Solihull Council on 0121 704 6842 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.