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  4. CBP Intercepts Nearly 20,000 pounds of Smuggled Animal Products from China at LA/LB Seaport

CBP Intercepts Nearly 20,000 pounds of Smuggled Animal Products from China at LA/LB Seaport

Release Date
Los Angeles

China is affected with Several Contagious and Deadly Animal Diseases  

LOS ANGELES—In just few weeks, from April 6 to June 6, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists assigned to the LA/Long Beach Seaport, intercepted 19,555 pounds of prohibited pork, chicken, beef and duck products arriving from China.

Agriculture specialists inspect a shiptment at LA/LB Seaport
Agriculture specialists at LA/LB seaport inspect a shipment
containing unmanifested meat products from China 

Most of the unmanifiested animal products were commingled in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tablets, trash bags, swim fins, cell phone covers, plastic cases and household goods in a clear attempt to smuggle the prohibited meats.

CBP agriculture specialists identified, examined and seized 12 shipments containing a total of 834 cartons which lacked the required U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entry documentation.

According to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, China is a country affected by African Swine Fever (ASF), Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Newcastle Disease (ND), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD).

“Our close collaboration with our USDA strategic partners has resulted in an increased number of prohibited food products interceptions in a relatively short period of time,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “CBP agriculture specialists remain committed and vigilant of foreign animal disease threats.”

Pork seized by CBP in Los Angeles
Pork products from ASF-affected countries may
introduce the virus to the United States

In the first five months of fiscal year 2020, the interception of prohibited meats from China at the LA/Long Beach Seaport has increased 70% compared with the same period the year before.

“Foreign plant pests and animal diseases like ASF and exotic fruit flies can cause devastating losses to the agriculture industry.  USDA and CBP are committed to working together to intercept illegal products and protect the health of U.S. livestock and crops,” said Helene Wright, USDA State Plant Health Director for California.

Chinese animal products are in high demand in certain communities in the United States. Smugglers attempt to bring those products which are later sold in markets.  Many consumers are not aware of the importation restrictions.

“Every day, CBP agriculture specialists protect the livelihoods of American farm workers, our food supply and ultimately our nation’s agriculture prosperity,” said Donald R. Kusser, CBP Port Director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.

When unmanifiested animal products are discovered, CBP reports the violation to the USDA and issues an emergency action for the expedited destruction of the contraband.

Pork products from ASF-affected countries may introduce the virus to the United States, crippling the domestic pork industry and U.S. pork exports valued at $6.5 billion annually. AFS is spread by contact with an infected animals’ bodily fluids.

USDA – APHIS Resources:

About CBP Agriculture Mission:

Agriculture is the largest industry and employing sector in the U.S. with more than $1 trillion of economic activity annually. The greatest risks of success of this industry are exotic plan pests and foreign animal diseases. On a typical day in fiscal year 2019, CBP agriculture specialists intercepted 314 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 4,695 materials for quarantine: plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil. Learn how CBP protects American Agriculture.


  • Last Modified: February 3, 2021