Photo Credit: TN
Charred Bat Meat Found In Luggage Of Man Returning To US From Ghana
A Maryland resident returning from Ghana was stopped as he attempted to enter the United States carrying charred bat meat in his luggage. According to MSN, upon landing at Dulles International Airport, his bag was searched by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who discovered three pounds and eight ounces of the burnt bat meat inside.
“Bat is considered bushmeat and is a routine protein staple in Africa,” CBP said in a release. “However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bushmeat is illegal to import to the United States, and bats are known vector species for zoonotic diseases, such as Ebola.”
Along with the bat meat, at least 12 pounds of fruit was found in the man’s luggage, including eggplants, turkey berries, and tetraplura. Border patrol agents seized the meat and fruit, and the fruits were destroyed while the bat meat was turned over to the CDC. The man was later released.
As per US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, certain agricultural items are not allowed to be brought into the US from abroad. These items are prohibited due to their ability to potentially harbor foreign insects and animal diseases that, if introduced in the States, could prove detrimental to the country’s people, livestock, crops, and economy.
“The products CBP prevents from entering the United States are those that would injure community health, public safety, American workers, children, or domestic plant and animal life, or those that would defeat our national interests,” CBP says on its website.
For this reason, individuals are encouraged to do their research, so they are aware of what can and cannot be brought into the country. Travelers entering the US are required to declare all food or agricultural items they are carrying. CBP agents can then inspect the items and determine whether they may be brought in.