Beagle Brigade Sniffs Out Giant Snails

"Candie" and "Chipper" members of the CBP Beagle Brigade sniffed out these snails and food. ( U.S. Customs and Border Protection )

It’s not a pig head this time, but rest assured U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Beagle Brigade is working hard to keep unwanted items from entering the U.S.

“Candie” and “Chipper” recently detected two Giant African Snails in the luggage of a passenger arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Ga., on a flight from Nigeria. The beagles alerted to the passenger’s checked bags at the international arrival baggage claim area.

“CBP is on the frontline 24/7, searching for anything entering our country that could potentially harm our citizens,” said Lee Deloatch, Atlanta CBP Acting Area Port Director.  “Our beagles sniffing out these snails highlights how valuable our canine members are to protecting the U.S.”

A CBP agriculture specialist found the snails in a suitcase, along with prohibited fruits and vegetables. The snails were turned over to the USDA for evaluation, while the food was destroyed, a CBP release said.

Such snails are illegally imported for classroom exhibits, as pets or for food, according to USDA’s website.

The Giant African Snail is one of the most damaging snails in the world because it consumes at least 500 types of plants and can cause structural damage to plaster and stucco structures, reproduce quickly and can cause meningitis, USDA said.

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