STERLING, Va. (KRON) – A bag of dead birds was seized from the luggage of a passenger traveling from China to Washington, D.C., US Customs and Border Protection announced.

In a statement, US Customs officials said the package of dead birds was seized at Dulles International Airport on Jan. 27 from a passenger arriving from Beijing.

The passenger told officials the birds were cat food and that he was planning to bring them to Maryland after his flight.

The package from China containing tiny dead birds seized by Border Patrol. / US Customs and Border Protection

US Customs reinforces that birds are not allowed into the US due to the possible spread of bird flu.

According to authorities, the birds were “destroyed by incineration” with approval from the US Department of Agriculture.

During a typical day last year, CBP agriculture specialists nationwide seize nearly 5,000 prohibited plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil, and intercepted 314 insect pests at US ports of entry.