ATLANTA—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport encountered a passenger attempting to bring in Yen Sao (Bird's Nest), a popular Vietnamese item, but prohibited in the U.S.
On February 17, a male traveler arrived in Atlanta from Vietnam via South Korea seeking entry under a B1/B2 Visitor Visa. The 55-year-old traveler was identified and referred for further inspection by CBP agriculture specialist and her trusted canine partner. During inspection of the traveler's luggage, agriculture specialists discovered one box of Yen Sao (Bird's Nest). The nests are considered to have a high nutritional and medicinal value, and are believed to have everything from anti-aging, anti-cancer properties, the ability to improve concentration and to raise libido. Bird's nest is a prohibited item to prevent foreign animal diseases from harming U.S. agriculture and natural resources. The items were seized and destroyed on site using U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved disposal methods.
The Atlanta Director of Field Operations, Robert Gomez, stated,"Our agriculture canine program is a premiere world class operation. The canine units guided by their CBP agriculture specialist K9 handlers save our country each and every hour from pests and diseases. These teams are worth their weight in gold."
CBP's agriculture detector dogs help to protect the crops and livestock in the U.S. by sniffing out fresh fruits, or meats, and many prohibited items in luggage that could carry invasive plant pests and animal diseases into the country.
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.