Pakistan-origin man smuggled birds to cheer him up

December 9th, 2011 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 9 (IANS) A Pakistan-origin man, who was caught at a British airport while trying to smuggle three live partridges into the country, said he required the birds to cheer him up as they helped ease his depression.

Customs officials at Manchester airport caught Faqar Zaman, 50, with the caged birds hidden inside a cardboard box and covered with plastic plates, the Daily Mail reported.

Zaman, from Bradford city of Yorkshire county, said the birds were his pets and the sounds they made helped his condition, the court heard.

The birds were noticed when a customs officer at Manchester Terminal One was searching Zaman’s bag and one of the birds popped its head out of a crate.

The partridges, which survived the trip in the cargo hold, were handed over to Manchester city council.

Animal health officers gave the birds a lethal injection to prevent them from spreading any infections to British birds in the wild.

Zaman pleaded guilty to landing three prohibited birds in Britain without a licence. He was fined 150 pounds (about $235) and must also pay 584 pounds (over $360) in court costs.

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