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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Hosts the National Pork Board

On Jan. 9, members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hosted the National Pork Board's board of directors and Pork Checkoff staff members at the Miami International Airport to showcase ongoing work its team does every day to help protect the nation from foreign animal disease and plant and animal pests. [Source: National Pork Board]

"The tour was really eye-opening," said Bill Luckey, a wean-to-finish producer and National Pork Board member from Columbus, Nebraska. "It was fascinating to watch the dogs work and the officials do their job to help protect our borders and our livelihood. I'm confident that they're doing their best to safeguard our industry."

During a typical day in 2018, CBP agriculture specialists across the nation seized 4,552 prohibited plants, meats, animal byproducts and soil, along with intercepting 319 insect pests at U.S. ports of entry. Of recent note was the seizure of nearly 14 pounds of raw unknown meat, pork hot dogs and raw ruminant tripe at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Having the Beagle Brigade on duty goes a long way in making these kinds of statistics possible. To that end, the livestock industry would like to see even more dogs and handlers on the job.

"I came away more well informed about how CBP works, including how the dogs intercept contraband," said Gene Noem, an Ames, Iowa producer who serves as National Pork Board treasurer. "I hope to see the beagle program get even stronger in the future to help safeguard all of our ports of entry."

Also, at ports of entry, the National Pork Board and its allies want to see more secondary screening of people who indicate that they were on a farm or near livestock outside of the country. In fact, if CBP does not follow-through when this is the case, Paul Sundberg, executive director of the Swine Health Information Center, asks that people send him an email about it to help improve the process nationwide.