U.S. Customs and Border Protection agricultural specialists seized 19,555 pounds of prohibited meats entering the country at a California port between April 6 and June 6.
According to a release, specialists found prohibited pork, chicken, beef and duck products that were being smuggled in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tablets, trash bags, swim fins, cell phone covers, plastic cases and household goods. The products, arriving from China, were intercepted at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.
“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,” Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles, said in the release. “CBP agriculture specialists remain committed and vigilant of foreign animal disease threats.”
China is currently seeing the effects of Classical Swine Fever, Newcastle Disease, Foot and Mouth Disease, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Swine Vesicular Disease and African Swine Fever. African Swine Fever, which is spread through bodily fluids of infected animals and has decimated China’s hog herds, has not yet entered the U.S.
According to the CBP, 70% more prohibited meats were intercepted during the first five months of the fiscal year than the same period last year. Once the prohibited meats are captured, CBP reports the products to the USDA and then destroys them.
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