CHARLOTTE, NC – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists and K9 “Shelia” at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) teamed up to intercept nearly 20 pounds of fruit, vegetables, and salami found in arriving international travelers checked bags earlier this month.
CBP agriculture specialists working with Shelia, a four-year-old beagle canine member, who alerted to suitcases belonging to travelers who arrived on different flights from Germany and London. During the secondary inspection, agriculture specialist found chili peppers, squash, propagative seeds, and over two pounds of salami.
“Customs and Border Protection’s agriculture inspection and protection mission is a critical trade enforcement priority,” said Patty Fitzpatrick, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Charlotte. “CBP’s agriculture specialists and our Beagle’s work side by side to detect and intercept prohibited food items, invasive weed seeds and insects that pose a significant threat to U.S. agricultural industries and our nation’s economy.”
CBP K9 Shelia, who sniffed out the prohibited items, is a valuable component of the CBP agriculture team at CLT airport where on average, four thousand international travelers a day are processed. The seized food products were destroyed on site by steam sterilization.
Travelers can check the general admissibility of fruits and vegetables by consulting the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or the Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements (FAVIR) database.
CBP also provides information on the importation of plants and plant products.
On a typical day in fiscal year 2016, CBP agriculture specialists discovered 404 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 4,638 materials for quarantine.
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.