U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agriculture specialists and a Beagle K-9 at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport seized and destroyed a cooked pig found in checked luggage at the busiest airport in the world.
“Hardy,” a member of the “Beagle Brigade,” alerted agents to the baggage of a traveler from Ecuador on Thursday. During a further examination, CBP agriculture specialists discovered a roasted pig head in the traveler’s baggage. The pig, weighing nearly two pounds, was seized and destroyed.
“Our best defense against destructive pests and animal diseases is to prevent the entry of prohibited agriculture products from entering the United States,” said Carey Davis, CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Atlanta. “This seizure at ATL illustrates the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States."
The U.S. prevents any pork and pork products from other continents from entering the country in order to prevent the introduction of foreign animal diseases such as African Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease and Classical Swine Fever.
“The Beagle Brigade is one of the best tools we have to prevent the entry of illegal food products that could be carrying diseases dangerous to plants and animals in the United States,” said Patrick Webb, director of swine health programs for the National Pork Board.
CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day nationally, they inspect over 1 million people as well as air and sea cargo imported to the United States and intercept 352 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 4,638 materials for quarantine: plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil.