Photo: US Customs and Border Protection / Courtesy
Almost two dozen invasive and potentially dangerous snails were detected by customs authorities who examined the luggage of a US passenger who landed at New York’s JFK airport from Ghana..
Specialists in agriculture of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) They found 22 giant African snails and about 24 pounds of tail, beef jerky, turkey berry, carrot, medicinal leaves and a spice called prekese in the unidentified man’s luggage, federal officials said. The penalty faced by the passenger was not reported.
“They may be slow, but slimy and highly invasive critters that agricultural specialists captured on Sunday they can quickly damage crops and vital structures ”, CBP said in a press release.
The giant African snail is one of the most harmful in the world because it consumes at least 500 types of plants, according to the Department of Agriculture (USDA). They can also cause structural damage to plaster and stucco buildings. The invasive species also represents a serious risk to human health because carries a parasite that can cause meningitis, authorities said.
“Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists are our nation’s front-line advocates against invasive plant and animal pests that threaten our agricultural resources, and they face this complex and challenging mission with extraordinary commitment and vigilance,” affirmed Marty. CBP’s Raybon, in a statement, was quoted by Fox News.
CBP agriculture specialists are specially trained in biological sciences and agricultural inspection. They examine shipments of international cargo and baggage belonging to business travelers for “Invasive Insects, Federal Noxious Weeds, and Plant and Animal Diseases that could have a serious impact on our national agricultural resources, ”the agency stressed.
CBP agriculture specialists at @JFKairport discovered 22 Giant African Snails during a baggage examination. According to the @USDA, the Giant African Snail is one of the most damaging snails in the world as it consumes at least 500 types of plants.
Go ➡️ https://t.co/ltVh1e6A5B pic.twitter.com/SmHnejMFUB
– CBP (@CBP) April 7, 2021