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Luggage containing 5,000 leeches discovered at Toronto airport – USA TODAY - https://travelporn.info | luxury travel sites

January 27, 2019 8:51 pm Categorised in:

Step aside, passenger with the live snake in your pants: You’ve officially been usurped as the ickiest airport story we’ve heard this month.

That dubious honor now goes to a Canadian man found carrying 5,000 live leeches in his luggage as he returned from a trip to Russia.

A beagle working as a sniffer dog for the Canada Border Services Agency made the discovery at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Oct. 17, 2018, National Geographic reported exclusively over the weekend.

Because the man, who has not been named publicly, wasn’t actively trying to conceal the parasitic critters, he’s not being charged with smuggling. Rather, he’s charged with illegally importing an internationally regulated species without obtaining the proper permits, according to Andre Lupert, manager of intelligence for the Wildlife Enforcement Directorate at Environment and Climate Change Canada for the Ontario Region.

Lupert told National Geographic that the “illegal leech importer” will face a court hearing next month in Toronto.

Leeches have been used by healers and doctors for over 2,000 years to treat ailments that were believed to be caused by an excess of blood.

Over the last two decades, hirudotherapy, or leech therapy, has come back into favor within the medical community. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of leeches for certain surgical applications, including trauma and reconstructive procedures.

Lovable leeches?  Practitioner says therapeutic benefits outweigh the ‘ick’