LOS ANGELES — Customs and Border Protection experienced a massive uptick — nearly 100 percent — of meat contraband imported to the US from China.
“In calendar year 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of shipments containing prohibited pork, chicken, beef, and duck products arriving from China intercepted by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in Los Angeles, nearly doubled compared with the previous year,” CBP noted.
In Los Angeles alone, from January 1 to December 31, 2020, CBP issued 1,049 Emergency Action Notifications (EAN) compared to 527 in 2019, constituting a 99 percent increase. EANs are used in response to meat contraband attempting to breach the US and require either destruction or re-exportation.
“CBP agriculture specialists found most of the unmanifested animal products commingled in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tablets, trash bags, swim fins, cell phone covers, plastic cases, and household goods in a clear attempt to smuggle the prohibited meats,” CBP summarizes.
Many imported meats from China are “affected by African Swine Fever (ASF), Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Newcastle Disease (ND), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), and Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD).”