ATLANTA— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists and our “Beagle Brigade” working at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) intercepted foreign plants, propagative seeds, and a whole pig during the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
On Wednesday, CBP Agriculture Detector K-9 “Joey,” a Beagle, alerted to the baggage of a traveler from Peru. During a secondary examination, CBP agriculture specialists discovered an entire roasted pig in the traveler’s baggage. The pig was seized and destroyed.
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 Foot and Mouth Disease, Classical Swine Fever, and Swine Vesicular Disease.
On the same day, a traveler arriving from Uzbekistan was found to have fruit trees, carrots, and cured sausages consisting of horsemeat. The fruit trees lacked a United States Department of Agriculture import permit and phytosanitary certificates, while the meat and fresh carrots were seized to prevent the potential introduction of pests or animal diseases.
On Friday, CBP Agriculture Detector K-9 “Candie,” a Beagle, alerted to baggage of a traveler from Bulgaria. During a secondary examination, CBP agriculture specialists discovered fig trees, tulip bulbs, and almond seeds in the baggage, and seized it for destruction.
“Our best defense against destructive pests and animal diseases is to prevent the entry of prohibited agriculture products they use as vectors from entering the United States,” said Carey Davis, CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Atlanta. “One measure Customs and Border Protection employs to intercept prohibited agriculture products is the effective deployment of highly-trained K-9 units. These seizures at ATL illustrate the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States’ many agriculture industries.”
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.
CBP Agriculture Specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day nationally, they inspect over 1 million people as well as air and sea cargo imported to the United States and intercept 4,657 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 464 agriculture pests and diseases.
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.