Customs cage budgie smuggler

A man who tried to smuggle almost 40 live birds and more than 100 eggs into the Maldives has had his cargo seized by customs.

Customs discovered the birds after searching the Maldivian national’s luggage at Male’ International Airport, after he arrived from Bangkok on 20 December. In total there were 109 eggs and 39 birds, nine of them dead, customs officers said.

The birds are now in possession of the Agricultural Ministry’s plant and quarantine unit, which confirmed that most of the birds were canaries and budgerigars.

The birds and eggs were being readied for transportation to Thilafushi to be euthanised, the unit said.

Ali Rilwaan, head of environmental NGO Bluepeace, said the procedure for a situation like this was to determine the birds’ species and ascertain if they were wild.

“Normally these kind of birds are kept as pets, and if there are no health risks I see no reason for the birds to be killed this way,” Rilwaan said.

“For generations, Maldivians have kept birds as pets, and since the introduction of species such canaries and budgies as pets over the last ten years there has been less exploitation of local species,” Rilwaan continued.

Since the spread of bird flu the importing of pet species has been banned, however chicks and ducklings are still brought into the country in large numbers.

According to the plant and quarantine unit, there are no plans to find new homes for the birds and they will be destroyed.


10 thoughts on “Customs cage budgie smuggler”

  1. That's so sad! The Agricultural Ministry is killing all these cute little birds without even allowing for the possibility of checking them for disease.

    Why doesn't Bluepeace offer to check the birds of disease? Why doesn't Bluepeace save the birds instead of trying to force the gov't to do it? (since the gov't is obviously as ill equipped as they are to do it)

  2. There has been birds sold at the night market over the past few years. I don't understand why people should keep birds locked up in small cages for the enjoyment of seeing them caged up. In crowded islands like Male', it is a big disturbance to have your neighbors have birds caged up due to the noise and smell it creates. I heard that spiders, grass snakes and other insects are imported these days. There should be strict procedures to let them in, if it is something we should allow.

  3. In Australia, a budgie smuggler is slang for men's swimming briefs. I thought the headline's quite funny as it is.

  4. I absolutely agree that birds should not be kept in cages. Ali Rilwan's got a point that by importing these birds, the pressure on local species (seabirds) might have become less. However, there are no proper facilities for pets/quarantined animals in the Maldives. There is not a single veterinarian in the Maldives. Who cares?? A few only. Most people just buy a new pet when the old one gets sick. Who would spend money for a surgery? A sad situation. I agree with Shaya that keeping a bird/pet in Maldives is just for the enjoyment of the keeper. Cutting feathers off, because - why should my bird fly?!

  5. It's very inhumanity if it's killed, cause those are the innocence , if this birds been killed, labors ministry have to kill so many foreigners.
    I think we must send it where it come or do something else cause every live have value

  6. One thing is certain, MP Mohamed Nasheed would not be happy with the comments made by Marina and Shaya.

  7. “For generations, Maldivians have kept birds as pets, and since the introduction of species such canaries and budgies as pets over the last ten years there has been less exploitation of local species,”

    Importing foreign birds to minimise the exploitation of local birds? How disturbing. Is this the Maldivian attitude for all of our problems?

  8. Bird activists are flocking together to fight for bird rights now...?

    What if the cute little birdie had a virus that could very easily wipe out your entire family?? Would you still empathize with the little birdie then..

    And why would anyone want to smuggle these birds in the first place???????? The only answer that comes into my head is "idiot".

  9. First they came for the budgies, but I did not speak out because I was not a budgie...

  10. I am quite surprise when people are talking about virus, disease and fungi without taking bigger picture in to the context. Why we are not talking about cow dung and dirty river sand we import in hundred of tons a years without sterilization. So petty…so narrow minded. We are just worried about how to get rid of a little bird alive even without checking for any disease.
    Why we allow thousands of foreign workers with all sorts of disease to come into the country without a prior medical check up. Aren’t we worried? Go and check their rooms. 20=30 packed in a cage or a room living like thousands of birds in a small cage.


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