Dubai Customs seize 64 falcons as smugglers try to cross Hatta border

Birds were being brought in from Oman in a vegetable lorry

The falcons were hidden behind boxes of vegetables. Photo: Dubai Customs
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Dozens of falcons have been found hidden in the back of a lorry as smugglers attempted to transport them across the Hatta border.

Dubai customs seized the 64 falcons that were being brought into the country from Oman without the correct health documents as required by law, said officials.

Falcons are an integral part of UAE heritage, featuring on the national emblem, and can sell for a high price.

The birds were discovered concealed behind boxes of vegetables when the vehicle was stopped and inspected by border officials.

They were handed over to the veterinary quarantine department at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

“Dubai Customs spares no efforts to protect all endangered animals and plants from the hazards of these rogue activities,” Humaid Al Rasheed, director of Land Customs Centres Management at Dubai Customs.

“To cross the borders, all animals have to have official documents, otherwise, they will be handed over to the ministry of Climate Change and Environment for further legal procedures.”

During the first half of 2021, Hatta border inspectors seized 44 cargoes as almost 24,000 lorries crossed into the country.

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Updated: September 13, 2021, 3:41 AM