The & # 39; Beagle Brigade & # 39; from Border Protection gets a pat on the back after stopping a load of illegal African heron snails smuggled from Nigeria into the US
- Beagle Brigade members Candie and Chipper sniffed two illegal giant snails that were in checked baggage
- The dogs were on duty at the international airport of Atlanta at that time
- The luggage was from a traveler whose flight was from Nigeria
- The case contained the snails and also banned fruit and vegetables
- The snails are illegal because they eat at least 500 plants, cause major building damage and can carry meningitis
- In some cultures the snails can be used as a religious offering or kept as pets
Two sharp-nosed Beagles at an airport in Georgia are praised for sniffing out two illegal African giant snails stowed in the luggage of an international passenger.
The US Customs and Border Guard revealed that Candie and Chipper – members of the & # 39; Beagle Brigade & # 39; of the CBP – were employed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta on June 23, when they informed their handlers of the presence of contraband in a traveler's luggage.
The traveler, who was not identified, had arrived in the US because of a flight from Nigeria.
The beagles of American customs and Border Protection, Candie and Chipper, are credited with stopping two gigantic African snails that are smuggled into the US with checked luggage. The snails and smuggled fruit and vegetables were also found in the suitcase (photo)
When CBP's agricultural specialist opened the suitcase of the traveler, two living, giant African snails and forbidden fruits and vegetables were found.
The giant African snails each seemed about as long as a pen and can grow up to eight inches.
CBP called the species & # 39; one of the most harmful snails in the world & # 39; because it feeds on at least 500 different types of plants and can cause structural damage to stucco and plastering.
The US Department of Agriculture notes that the snails are dangerous to humans because they can carry a parasitic nematode that causes meningitis in humans.
The snails in the traveler's suitcase were confiscated so that they could be assessed by the USDA. The illegal fruit and vegetables have since been destroyed.
The two giant snails in the luggage were almost as long as a ballpoint pen
Giant African snails are said to be & # 39; one of the most harmful snails in the world & # 39; and can be up to eight centimeters long
In some cultures the snails can be used as a religious offering or kept as pets. The snails are illegal in the US because they damage buildings and can carry meningitis (stock image)
CBP said that they gave the traveler a warning about the illegal declaration of pests and agricultural products at the border, but did not punish the person.
& # 39; CBP is on the front line 24/7 and looks for everything that enters our country and potentially harms our citizens & # 39 ;, said Lee Deloatch Atlanta CBP Acting Area Port Director in a statement.
& # 39; Our beagles that smell these snails underline how valuable our dogs are to protect the US & # 39;
According to the USDA, it took 10 years and $ 1 million to wipe out Giant African snails from the US when they were first discovered in the 1960s. They were then reintroduced to the country in 2011 with eradication efforts.
In some cultures, giant African snails would be used as a religious offering or cooked as a snack. It is also said that they are popular pets in some countries.
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