Customs agents have seen all sorts of things come through travelers' baggage. And what they seized from two women at Washington Dulles International Airport last month may take the cake.
On January 29, two women arrived from Mongolia. Customs and Border Protection officers sent them for a routine agriculture examination. What was found inside might turn your stomach.
The women had a combined 42 pounds of horse meat concealed inside juice boxes. That includes 13 pounds of horse genitals that one of the women claimed were for medicinal purposes.
Horse meat is prohibited from entering the country unless the traveler has an official government horse meat certification from the country of origination. The concern is bringing foot and mouth disease into the United States and introducing it to livestock here.
“Customs and Border Protection takes no pleasure in seizing and destroying travelers’ food products,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Washington Dulles. “We’re in the business of protecting America’s agriculture industries, like the livestock industry, from the potential introduction of animal diseases posed by these unpermitted food products.”
All of the meat was incinerated.
“Safeguarding America’s agriculture industries, and by extension our nation’s economy, remains an enforcement priority for Customs and Border Protection. It is a mission that we take very seriously,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region.
CBP agriculture specialists inspect more than 1 million people coming into the U.S. every day.