ATLANTA — U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists working at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) discovered two Giant African snails in a traveler’s luggage after arriving on a flight from Nigeria.
Sunday morning, “Candie” and “Chipper” members of the CBP “Beagle Brigade” on duty at ATL, alerted to a traveler’s checked bags at the international arrival baggage claim area. During further inspection, a CBP Agriculture Specialist found the live Giant African Snails inside a suitcase. In addition, prohibited fruits and vegetables the Beagles alerted to were found.
“CBP is on the frontline 24/7, searching for anything entering our country that could potentially harm our citizens,” said Lee Deloatch Atlanta CBP Acting Area Port Director. “Our beagles sniffing out these snails highlights how valuable our canine members are to protecting the U.S.”
The snails were turned over to U.S. Department of Agriculture for further evaluation. The seized food products was destroyed and the traveler was not penalized though warned about properly declaring of pests and agriculture products to CBP.
CBP Agriculture Specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day nationally, they inspect more than 1 million people as well as air, land and sea cargo imported to the United States, and intercept 4,552 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 319 agriculture pests and diseases.