U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport seized 54 edible bird’s nests tucked among personal items in a traveler’s luggage.
These items, considered a delicacy in some countries, are prohibited from entering the U.S. as they can carry Newcastle Disease or the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) virus. The passenger, who was arriving from Vietnam, did not declare the items
Birds’ nests are created from the solidified saliva of birds and are used to make a soup or broth. In some cultures they are considered a prized possession due to their high nutritional value and exceptional taste. Birds’ nests are high in calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. However since bird’s nests are considered likely carriers of infectious diseases they are prohibited from entry to the U.S. The birds’ nests were seized and destroyed using steam sterilization.