Laredo, Texas - In the weeks leading to Valentine's Day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's highly trained agriculture specialists ensure that plant diseases and plant pests are detected and prevented from being introduced into the United States where they could cause harm.
At international ports of entry, land borders and mail facilities, CBP agriculture specialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the United States. In fiscal year 2009, CBP agriculture specialists seized more than 1.5 million prohibited plant, meat and animal byproducts and intercepted more than 166 thousand pests at the U.S. ports of entry.
CBP officers performing agriculture exams at the eight ports of entry between Brownsville and Del Rio, Texas recorded 132,962 interceptions of quarantine plant materials and 21,259 pest interceptions during fiscal year 2009.
The top 10 ports of entry, by volume, that processed shipment of cut flower imports for the 2009 Valentine season are: Miami; Los Angeles; JFK New York; Newark; Laredo; Otay Mesa, Calif.; San Juan, PR; Dallas, Wilmington, DE; St. Louis, MO.
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.