U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists rang in the Chinese Lunar Year by intercepting 23 shipments containing over 22,000 lb. of prohibited animal products from China at the Port of New York/Newark.
The products attempted to enter the U.S. via containerized sea cargo, according to CBP release. (https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-newark-kicks-chinese-lunar-year-seizing-prohibited-animal-products)
“CBP agriculture specialists made critical interceptions of these prohibited animal products and stopped them from entering the U.S. before they could potentially cause grave damage to our agricultural and economic vitality,” said Troy Miller, director, field operations, New York Field Office.
Animal disease outbreaks are a threat to the U.S. that can adversely impact public health, cause global trade halts, and destabilize the economy and our nation’s food supply.
In China, growing outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF), a highly contagious swine viral disease that affects pigs, have prompted stricter U.S. import requirements and increased vigilance from CBP.
“It’s up to our team to keep plant and animal diseases out of the U.S.,” said Kevin Harriger, executive director for agriculture programs and trade liaison with CBP. “With African swine fever, for example, the virus can manifest itself in meat or refuse. If it doesn’t go through a sanitary system or get destroyed through an incineration or steam sterilization process, we’ve got live virus in the U.S.”
The U.S. prevents any pork and pork products from other countries from entering the country to prevent the introduction of FADs such as African swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever. However, regulations and permits are in place to allow some agricultural products to enter the U.S.
ASF does not harm humans, but it spreads rapidly among domestic pigs and wild boars through direct contact or exposure to farm workers’ contaminated shoes, clothing and equipment. The virus can live in uncooked pork or juices from uncooked pork. It can also survive in cured meats for up to 150 days. ASF is deadly for pigs, but harmless for humans.
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