U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry seized iguana meat and a live bird, and assessed penalties to the travelers who failed to declare the prohibited agricultural items.
On Saturday, August 10, CBP agriculture specialists at the Otay Mesa port of entry seized a live half-moon conure that was concealed inside a woman's handbag. The woman, a resident of Bell, California, entered the port in a vehicle and had been referred by a CBP officer for an agricultural inspection.
The bird was seized by CBP and transferred to the custody of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services for proper handling and quarantine.
On Sunday, August 11, a Reseda, California man returning from Colima, Mexico was referred for an agriculture inspection while crossing in a vehicle at the San Ysidro port of entry. While conducting an examination utilizing an agricultural canine, CBP agriculture specialists discovered almost 40 pounds of undeclared iguana meat and more than six pounds of undeclared pork meat concealed in an ice chest in the traveler's vehicle.
CBP seized the iguana meat, which is regulated under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), and turned it over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services for further review.
Both subjects were each assessed a $300 penalty and were released.
The half-moon conure population, native to western Mexico, has decreased in many areas due to illegal or unrestricted trade. In addition, according to USDA, birds from Mexico may carry exotic Newcastle disease (END), a virus which has had devastating impacts on the U.S. poultry industry.
CBP agriculture specialists protect the United States from the threat of invasive pests and diseases with inspection and prevention efforts designed to keep prohibited agricultural items from entering the United States.
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.