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▲ A passenger traveling to DFW International Airport from Vietnam had 63 pieces of bird's nest in her luggage. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

 

Authorities searching a passenger's luggage at DFW International Airport found a foreign delicacy: 63 pieces of edible bird's nests.

 

But the woman, who was traveling from Vietnam, did not declare the nests, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

 

The nests can carry avian flu and Newcastle disease, the agency said.

 

"Our agriculture specialists recognize the importance of intercepting items being smuggled to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and harmful pests," Port Director Cleatus P. Hunt Jr. said in a statement. "Seizures like this one help diminish that threat."

 

The passenger was fined $300. The nests were destroyed.

 

Edible bird's nests have been a delicacy in Chinese cuisine for centuries and can be sold for hundreds of dollars per pound. 

The nests often are dissolved to make bird's nest soup.

 

The nests are created by the hardened saliva of swiftlets — cave-dwelling birds indigenous to Southeast Asia.

 

© Dallas Morning News

 


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