Agricultural Specialists from the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Tuesday the seizure of a shipment of 750 unfertilized Avian Eggs at the port of Memphis, Tennessee, according to a statement released by CBP.
China is currently embroiled in an epidemic involving Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Newcastle Disease.
“These foreign animal diseases pose a serious threat to the U.S. poultry industry and various avian wildlife,” the statement released by CBP added.
HPAI H5N1 is a severe viral disease that is highly contagious and often deadly to chickens and other poultry. While the disease is broadly observed in chickens and other poultry, since 2014, over 700 humans have been infected with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 700 reported human cases, roughly 60% of infections have resulted in death. Further, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization considers HPAI to be an epidemic in China and multiple other Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
In a similar manner, Newcastle Disease is a broad-ranging viral disease that affects multiple organ systems within birds and poultry.
The shipment, which was addressed to a location in New York City known for requesting illegal animal products, was mislabeled as “The Scarf” and violated multiple other regulations and guidelines placed by Customs and Border Protection. Accordingly, the Avian Eggs were destroyed utilizing United States Department of Agriculture guidelines, preventing the contraband from reaching its intended location.
“This critical interception kept potentially viral and illegal poultry products from entering our commerce,” Assistant Area Port Director Crystal Lopera said.
Without the interception carried out by the members of the CBP, the prohibited eggs carried the potential to be used to cook and consume or to be sold to other individuals.
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