SAVANNAH, GA — U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations agriculture specialists recently intercepted three “First-In-Port” insects in Port of Savannah. First-In-Port interceptions are those pests that have never been encountered at the specific port of entry. In January, CBP agriculture specialists conducting tile and stone inspections on shipments from Turkey and Italy intercepted three different pests. A pigeon tick, straight-snouted weevil and a tortoise beetle were discovered in containers destined for Georgia.
“The work performed by our agriculture specialists directly impacts our daily lives by keeping insects, noxious weeds, contaminated soil and other threats out of our country.” said Lisa Beth Brown, CBP Savannah Area Port Director. “The discovery of these unique and threatening pests during cargo inspections highlights the hard work of the dedicated CBP staff.”
Last year over 3.85 million twenty-foot container equivalent units of cargo were processed at Port of Savannah, the second-largest on the East Coast. CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. Each year, agriculture specialists intercept tens of thousands of “actionable pests” – those identified through scientific risk assessment and study as being dangerous to the health and safety of U.S. agricultural resources.
Often CBP agriculture specialists discover “hitchhikers”, pests found catching a ride by hiding on shipments like tile or stone products. On a typical day across the country, CBP agriculture specialists intercept 4,638 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 404 agriculture pests and diseases.
To find out more about CBP operations in Georgia and the Southeast, visit @CBPSouthEast on Twitter.
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.