BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Chicken skeletons from China arrived to Baltimore by sea. But Baltimore U.S. Customs and Border Protection wouldn’t allow them in the city.

Slated for educational purposes, the first shipment arrived July 5 and included 10 skeletons in boxes and 20 skeletons of chicks in display cases. The second shipment arrived Aug. 3 and included 12 skeletons.

But because China is believed to have a type of avian influenza, the uncertified skeletons may pose a potential threat to the United States poultry industry.

“The chicken skeletons appear to be intended for display or educational purposes; however, federal law requires an import and health certificate for most animal products imported into the United States due to the potential threat of foreign animal diseases that could threaten U.S. agriculture and our economy,” Susan Thomas, Acting CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore said. “Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists take very serious their mission of frontline defenders of our nation’s agricultural industries.”

Some of the skeletons were packaged inside display cases and were shipped with other research and educational products, such as microscopes, test tubes and thermometers, as well as skeletons of other animals, such as fish, turtles, rats, snakes and bats.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture permits animal product importations once certain import conditions for the specific product have been met.


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