Some goods prohibited as they can carry pests, diseases
HOUSTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport discovered a medley of prohibited agriculture items over a two-day period.
The first discovery occurred Tuesday when a couple from Vietnam was selected for a baggage exam.
During the exam, CBP agriculture specialists discovered 49 pounds of prohibited agriculture items packed inside the couple’s luggage. The items included a variety of fruits, vegetables, plant cuttings and seeds. Some of the items contained an unknown type of plant disease and insect eggs that were sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for further identification.
The second discovery occurred Wednesday when two different agriculture K9 teams alerted to a passenger’s luggage. The passenger was asked whether she had any agriculture items. After the passenger provided a negative declaration, CBP agriculture specialists conducted a baggage examination and found mangoes, durian, nursery stock, three different types of propagative seeds, pork and four unknown animal bladders.
“CBP agriculture specialists work tirelessly to protect American agriculture from the spread of harmful pests and plant disease,” said CBP Port Director Charles G. Perez. “These interceptions are indicative of the work they do day in and day out.”
In both instances, the prohibited items were seized and then destroyed using steam sterilization. U.S. Fish and Wildlife detained the animal bladders for species identification.
Travelers are encouraged to visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or CBP’s websites for information about bringing food and agriculture items into the United States.
On a typical day in 2016, CBP agriculture specialists discovered 4638 materials that required quarantine or destruction including plant, meat, animal byproduct and soil.
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.