Close to nine pounds of what is being termed as “mystery bushmeat” was seized from a passenger traveling from Ghana, by customs officers at Newark Liberty International Airport, officials announced Tuesday.
The passenger, who is a US citizen, declared the meat to a Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialist Sunday, but staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention realized the brown parts were from wild animals and ordered it destroyed, CBP said.
“CBP Agriculture Specialists made critical interceptions of these prohibited animal products and stopped them from entering the United States before they could potentially cause grave damage to our agricultural and economic vitality,” Troy Miller, director of field operations at CBP’s New York field office, said in a statement.
Bushmeat, a catchall phrase for meat coming from wild animals, is typically derived from non-human primates, bats, civets or African rodents and can spread disease, CBP said.
The agency said animal disease outbreaks, which caused the COVID-19 pandemic, can “adversely affect public health, cause global trade halts and destabilize the economy and our nation’s food supply.”
It was not immediately clear what animal the meat came from. The passenger didn’t face any repercussions because he declared the meat.