More than 1,000 shipments of prohibited items such as live foam bath mats, live snails and human skulls have been seized at O’Hare International Airport in the past six months.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists, the most frequently seized items are pork and beef sausages, plants, plant materials, seeds for planting, and live snails. .
On March 8, Agriculture dog Hitch reported three packages arriving in Chicago from Poland, which contained three individual Live Pole Moss bath mats.
Officials noted that Live Moss bath mats do not have a USDA permit or phytosanitary certificate. The shipments were then destroyed by steam sterilization.
“This shipment could inadvertently introduce plant diseases, propagating material and insects to the United States, which could harm American agriculture,” CBP said in a statement.
On March 29, a shipment arriving in the Netherlands en route to Iowa was inspected by CBPAS after X-rays showed animals. During the inspection, officials found two skulls.
CBPAS added that this package was the first of three shipments from the same sender. Each package contained two skulls, for a total of six. The skulls were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for disposal.
“Our nation’s food supply is under constant threat from pests and diseases not known to the United States. These significant interceptions by our CBPAS at the IMF in O’Hare illustrate CBP’s continued commitment to protecting the American agriculture,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke. , Director of Field Operations for CBPAS – Chicago Field Office.
CBP has recommended that persons wishing to import plant materials, animal materials, and other agricultural products consult the CBP Information Center section on their website or call (877) 227-5511.
Arriving passengers should report all items acquired overseas to CBP officials to avoid civil or criminal penalties and reduce the risk of introducing pests and disease into the United States, officials said.