ORLANDO, FL - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at Orlando International Airport referred a recent passenger arriving from Mexico for inspection after he admitted to carrying raw beef. The officers were suspicious that the individual may also be carrying prohibited pork products as these are known for carrying Classical Swine Fever disease.
Upon questioning, the passenger insisted he was not bringing pork products. CBP agriculture specialists proceeded to X-ray the bags, revealing several anomalies. Upon opening the bags, CBP agriculture specialists discovered multiple pieces of vacuum-packed beef stuffed with rolls of pork meat.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Products Manual, Mexico is affected with Classical Swine Fever, which is one of the most economically damaging pandemic viral diseases of swine in the world because it requires the preventive slaughter of animals. In 1997-1998, an outbreak in the Netherlands involved the destruction of more than 400 swine herds.
“One of the most important of CBP missions is to protect the U.S. consumer," said CBP Orlando Area Port Director Gaetano Cordone. "It cost the Netherlands over $2.3 billion to eradicate Classical Swine Fever disease and approximately 12 million pigs were slaughtered. The introduction of this disease into the United States would have a catastrophic impact not only for the U.S. economy, but for the consumer by way of higher prices in the marketplace. I’m very proud of the work our officers and agriculture specialists do everyday.”
At the end of the inspection, CBP seized the meats and issued a monetary penalty to the passenger for failure to declare the prohibited pork products.
CBP agriculture specialists receive extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day, they inspect almost 1 million people as well as air and sea cargo imported to the United States and intercept 4,379 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 440 insect pests nationwide.
To learn more about CBP’s agriculture protection mission, visit Protecting Agriculture on the CBP website.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations in Florida include travel and trade facilitation and securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border. Follow @CBPFlorida on Twitter for real-time updates and download CBP stock footage through the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.