By SDCN Staff
Atlanta, GA–A slow, slimy, and highly invasive Giant African Snail was intercepted by an alert beagle and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
On November 8, “Mox,” a member of CBP’s “Beagle Brigade” alerted to a traveler’s luggage after arriving on a flight from Nigeria.
During further inspection, a CBP Agriculture Specialist found the live snail inside a suitcase. In addition, prohibited goat meat, cow skins, melon seeds, and vegetables that the beagle alerted to were found.
“The amazing Beagle Brigade is a valuable team member of CBP’s agriculture mission protecting our nation from highly invasive pests such as the Giant African Snail,” said Clay Thomas, Area Port Director for Customs and Border Protection Atlanta.
“This was a significant discovery for our agriculture K9 team—a critical component of our nation’s frontline defense against all animal pests that threaten our agricultural resources.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the snail is one of the most damaging snails in the world because it consumes at least 500 types of plants. It threatens U.S. agricultural resources and causes extensive damage to tropical and sub-tropical environments.
The Giant African Snail also poses a serious health risk to humans because it carries a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis. The snail was intercepted by CBP Atlanta and agriculture was secured. The traveler, a U.S. Citizen, was informed about bringing prohibited items into the country before continuing her journey to Texas.