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Deadly bugs found in curry leaves sent from India

world Updated: Jul 31, 2009 13:49 IST

A specially trained detection dog sniffed out deadly citrus bugs from a packet of curry leaves sent in New York from southern Indian city of Kochi.

Officials of the California Department of Agriculture yesterday said about 10 Asian citrus psyllid were found on curry leaves, tucked inside a duffle bag.

The curry leaves, which had come from Kochi in Kerala, were sent through FedEx.

The bugs were detected on July 10 by Chelsea, a labrador of Fresno County Agriculture Department's canine team, during a routine search at the FedEx facility at Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

Tye Hafner, Fresno County deputy agricultural commissioner, told local newspaper 'Fresno Bee´ that the insects found at the airport were alive. He said he doesn't know whether the bugs were infected with any disease.

"We are very fortunate we found them. This threat is very real," he was quoted as saying.