Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection this week reaffirmed they are staying vigilant in keeping pork products from entering the United States. CBP agriculture specialists and a Beagle K-9 intercepted a cooked pig found in checked luggage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world.
On Thursday, CBP Agriculture Detector K-9 “Hardy” a member of the “Beagle Brigade”, was alerted to the baggage of a traveler from Ecuador. During a further examination, CBP agriculture specialists discovered a roasted pig head in the traveler’s baggage. The pig weighing nearly two-pounds was seized and destroyed.
“Our best defense against destructive pests and animal diseases is to prevent the entry of prohibited agriculture products from entering the United States,” says Carey Davis, CBP area port director for the Port of Atlanta. “This seizure at ATL illustrate the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States.”
Pork and pork products from other continents are prohibited from entry into the U.S. to prevent the potential introduction of foreign animal diseases such as African swine fever, foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever and swine vesicular disease. When entering into the U.S. every fruit, vegetable or food products must be declared to a CBP agriculture specialist or CBP officer and must be presented for inspection – regardless of origin.
According to a 2014 article in BonAppetit, on an average day U.S. Customs finds 440 pests and seizes 4,379 items across air, sea and land borders. Digging into three years of data from the agency, the publication found pork products were the items that get confiscated the most.