Brokers at John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport have been in for a slimy shock earlier this week.
On Sunday, 22 Giant African Snails — a extremely invasive species — have been found in a person’s bag at JFK by U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) agricultural specialists, in accordance with a press launch from the company.
The person — who was traveling again residence to the U.S. from Ghana — was additionally discovered with about 24 kilos of prohibited gadgets together with ox tail, dried beef, turkey berry, carrot, medicinal leaves and the standard African spice often called prekese, in accordance with the release.
CBP warned that Large African Snails are among the “most damaging snails on the planet” as a result of they devour 500 sorts of vegetation and severely harm plaster and stucco buildings.
Nonetheless, Large African Snails don’t solely put U.S. agriculture and buildings in danger. The snails additionally pose a well being threat to people as a result of they carry “a parasitic nematode that may result in meningitis,” the discharge mentioned.
The snails additionally reproduce rapidly, producing as much as about 1,200 eggs a yr, the CBP mentioned.
In accordance with the discharge, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the USDA Animal and Plant Well being Inspection Service are working collectively to eradicate Large African Snails from Florida, which have been reintroduced within the state in 2011 after being beforehand eradicated within the Seventies.
Within the launch, CBP suggested vacationers to verify they test the company’s web site for prohibited or restricted items from the U.S. earlier than shopping for them whereas overseas.
“Customs and Border Safety agriculture specialists are our nation’s frontline defenders in opposition to invasive plant and animal pests that threaten our agricultural assets, and so they face this complicated and difficult mission with extraordinary dedication and vigilance,” Marty Raybon, CBP’s appearing director of area operations within the New York Subject Workplace, mentioned in a press release.