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Federal agents seize nearly 10 tons of prohibited animal products from China at L.A. ports

Shipping containers on a ship at the Port of Los Angeles
In the first five months of fiscal year 2020, the interception of prohibited meats from China at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach increased 70% over the year before.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Federal agents assigned to the ports of L.A. and Long Beach intercepted 19,555 pounds of prohibited pork, chicken, beef and duck products arriving from China, authorities said Friday.

“Most of the animal products were commingled in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tablets, trash bags, swim fins, cellphone covers, plastic cases and household goods in a clear attempt to smuggle the prohibited meats,” Jaime Ruiz of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.

CBP agriculture specialists identified, examined and seized 12 shipments containing a total of 834 cartons that lacked the required U.S. Department of Agriculture entry documentation, Ruiz said.

According to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, China is a country affected by African swine fever, classical swine fever, Newcastle disease, foot and mouth disease, highly pathogenic avian influenza and swine vesicular disease.

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“Our close collaboration with our USDA strategic partners has resulted in an increased number of prohibited food products interceptions in a relatively short period of time,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles. “CBP agriculture specialists remain committed and vigilant of foreign animal disease threats.”

In the first five months of fiscal year 2020, the interception of prohibited meats from China at the San Pedro Bay port complex has increased 70% compared with the same period the year before.


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