The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents see strange things all the time, so they likely weren’t too surprised when they found pork sausages in canisters of baby formula. A woman from El Salvador evidently felt powdered formula was more easily replaced than the pork product, but now she’ll never know. Border agents at Washington Dulles International Airport confiscated and incinerated the sausages and sent her on her way.
According to information from CBP, on any given day last year, CBP agriculture specialists typically seized an average of 4,638 prohibited plants, meats, animal byproducts and soil; and intercepted 352 insect pests at U.S. ports of entry.
CBP agriculture specialists discovered
pork sausage links in baby formula cans.
“Swine meat from El Salvador is prohibited from entering the United States due to the presence of swine vesicular disease (SVD), a highly contagious viral disease of pigs caused by an enterovirus,” the CBP said in a news article about the incident.
SVD-infected pigs show lesions on the feet, snout and mouth. It is costly to eradicate, and would cause severe economic impacts because of export restrictions of pigs and pork products from nations not considered free of SVD. The disease is not found in North America, and the industry wants to keep it that way.
According to the CBP article, canine agricultural agent “Beazley” sniffed out the woman’s baggage after she arrived on a flight to Washington’s Dulles Airport.
“During an x-ray examination, CBP agriculture specialists detected anomalies inside two cans of baby formula,” the article said. “After opening the cans, agriculture specialists discovered nearly 4.5 combined pounds of pork sausage.”
“Passengers try various ways to conceal food products that they know to be inadmissible to the United States, such as in this pork concealment attempt, but Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists and their canine partners are highly trained in detection techniques,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of the Baltimore Field Office in the article. “CBP agriculture specialists and their canine partners continue their vigilance through robust and stringent inspections of arriving passengers and their baggage to search for prohibited products that pose a significant risk to our nation’s agriculture and to our economy.”
“CBP agriculture specialists perform a critical border security role in safeguarding America’s agricultural and natural resources from harmful pests, and plant and animal diseases,” the article stated. “They have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection procedures, and they inspect hundreds of thousands of international air passengers, and air and sea cargo nationally being imported to the United States every day.”