Di domenica, 22 Giant African Snails — a highly invasive species — were discovered in a man’s bag at JFK by U.S. Protezione delle dogane e della frontiera (CBP) agricultural specialists, according to a press release from the agency.
L'uomo — chi era traveling back home to the U.S. a partire dal Ghana — was also found with about 24 pounds of prohibited items including ox tail, dried beef, turkey berry, carrot, medicinal leaves and the traditional African spice known as prekese, secondo il release.
CBP warned that Giant African Snails are some of the “most damaging snails in the world” because they consume 500 types of plants and seriously damage plaster and stucco structures.
tuttavia, Giant African Snails don’t only put U.S. agriculture and structures at risk. The snails also pose a health risk to humans because they carry “a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis,” ha detto il comunicato.
The snails also reproduce quickly, producing up to about 1,200 eggs a year, the CBP said.
According to the release, il Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are working together to eradicate Giant African Snails from Florida, which were reintroduced in the state in 2011 after being previously eradicated in the 1970s.
In the release, CBP advised travelers to make sure they check the agency’s website for prohibited or restricted elementi from the U.S. before buying them while abroad.
“Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists are our nation’s frontline defenders against invasive plant and animal pests that threaten our agricultural resources, and they face this complex and challenging mission with extraordinary commitment and vigilance,” Marty Raybon, CBP’s acting director of field operations in the New York Field Office, ha detto in una dichiarazione.