The country's top watchdog on products quality has urged local quarantine
authorities to tighten inspections of birds and poultry from the United States
after a shipment of carrier pigeons from there were found to be infected with
psittacosis, or parrot fever.
Forty-one pigeons were seized at Beijing International Airport on June 21,
after they were found to have not gone through proper quarantine procedures
before being exported, the General Administration of Quality Supervision,
Inspection and Quarantine said on Friday.
In addition, the Beijing quarantine authority also found the animal health
certificates issued by the US stated that some of the pigeons were psittacosis
The disease can be transmitted from infected birds to humans and cause
symptoms similar to that of severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS. The
disease can be fatal.