An American who was travelling from Ghana has been detained at the John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday for carrying snails, turkey berry, and other ‘prohibited’ product.
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reportedly impounded about 24 pounds collectively of prohibited oxtail, dried beef, turkey berry, carrot, medicinal leaves and prekese, a traditional African spice and medicinal plant product.
The CBP in a statement said the Giant African Snail is one of the most damaging snails in the world because it consumes at least 500 types of plants.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the snails also threatens U.S. agricultural resources and cause extensive damage to tropical and sub-tropical environments. It also causes structural damage to plaster and stucco structures. GAS reproduces quickly, producing about 1,200 eggs in a single year.
The statement added that the “highly invasive Giant African Snail also poses a serious health risk to humans because it carries a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis”.
“Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists are our nation’s frontline defenders against invasive plant and animal pests that threaten our agricultural resources, and they face this complex and challenging mission with extraordinary commitment and vigilance,” said Marty C. Raybon, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s New York Field Office.