Border staff find case of pigeons
Border officials found a briefcase full of dead pigeons at Gatwick Airport last month.
Some of the birds had all of their feathers removed, suggesting they may have been headed for British restaurants.
A UK Border Agency spokeswoman said the haul was one of a top 10 of unusual finds during a campaign against people smuggling animals into the country.
A passenger was also found travelling through Heathrow Airport with his pet boa constrictor snake wrapped around his leg.
In another case, a striped animal skin was later found to be the skin of a large domestic dog which had been painted to look like that of a tiger.
One passenger at Heathrow tried to smuggle 40 rare and endangered parrot eggs, including those of the rare Blue Headed Macaw, by hiding them in a special vest under his shirt.
Other finds included around 40 dried seahorses; 1,000 live spiders, individually boxed; 26 rare birds of prey stuffed into plastic pipes; two highly venomous snakes (a puff adder and a gaboon viper); seven wild tortoises; and three rare Copes Alligator lizards found inside a video tape.