October 31, 2022
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Paso Del Norte border crossing in downtown El Paso seized 484 pounds of bologna and 285 pounds of cheese during the early morning hours of Oct. 27.
"In both these cases the travelers concealed these commodities and failed to properly declare merchandise acquired abroad to the CBP officer upon arrival and entry," said CBP El Paso Port Director Ray Provencio.
The 484-pound bologna seizure occurred just after 1:30 a.m. when a 32-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a pickup truck applied for entry. The CBP officer at the primary inspection booth detected nervousness during the routine interview and directed the driver to the secondary inspection area. CBP officers continued the exam and located 44 rolls of Mexican bologna hidden in the vehicle's toolbox and under a blanket on the floor of the truck. The bologna was seized and the driver was assessed a $1,000 civil penalty. The product was seized under 9 CFR part 94.
"Pork products have the potential to introduce foreign animal diseases that can be detrimental to our agriculture industry," said Provencio.
The USDA and the Department of Homeland Security are partners in the effort to protect American agriculture against the introduction of pests and diseases at our nation's ports of entry. Undeclared prohibited agriculture items will be confiscated and can result in the issuance of a civil penalty for failure to declare.
Last month U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry encountered a black, miniature size pet pig during officers’ initial inspection process.
During an inspection of a traveler's vehicle, they were notified that their miniature pet pig would not be allowed entry into the United States.
The encounter occurred on Sept. 11, at around 8:30 a.m., when a 63-year-old male traveler along with his granddaughter applied for entry into the United States by presenting their valid travel documents. Both travelers and the vehicle were referred for further inspection due to declaring the pet pig.
"While many travelers would like to cross pets of different breeds into the U.S., we must ensure from a customs perspective that we mitigate potential diseases from animals that come from other countries," said Rosa Hernandez, acting director of field operations of San Diego. "It's unfortunate that some travelers are unable to cross their pets, but we must follow USDA and CDC guidelines to protect our citizens."
During the inspection process, the travelers were informed by CBP agriculture specialist that live pigs are not allowed entry into the United States without a required veterinary service permit. Pigs must also be regulated as livestock to be eligible to cross into the United States from other countries.
The owners voluntarily returned their pet pig back to Mexico. No further investigation was necessary.
There are some animals that may be detained while awaiting disposition at the owner's expense. African rodents, bats, nonhuman primates and civets may not be imported as pets under any circumstances. Pets that are not permitted to cross into the United States must be sent back to the country of origin.
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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