Irish man arrested after seizure of vulture chicks at Heathrow

The man was found with over a dozen eggs containing endangered species at the airport

One of the vulture chicks seized at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain. Photograph: British Home Office

One of the vulture chicks seized at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain. Photograph: British Home Office

 

An Irish man has been arrested after two vulture chicks and more than a dozen eggs containing rare and endangered species were seized at Heathrow Airport.

Border Force officers seized 19 eggs in total, two of which had already hatched, from the man after he arrived at the airport on a flight from South Africa.

The eggs, which had been concealed within a body belt, are from South African birds of prey including vultures, eagles, hawks and kites, the British Home Office said.

Border Force specialist officers identified that the eggs, which were seized on Tuesday, were protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The chicks and eggs are being cared for at a specialist facility, the Home Office added.

The 56-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of importation of an item prohibited under the customs and excise management Act, and bailed pending further inquiries.

The investigation has been passed to the UK National Crime Agency. – PA