LOS ANGELES - More than 1 million pounds of illegal animal products were confiscated at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach in the last year, setting a record for the contraband for the third straight year, according to officials.
Fiscal Year 2022 was the busiest year ever at the seaport, the nation's second largest, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Between Oct. 1 2021, and Sept. 30, 2022, CBP confiscated approximately 1.2 million pounds of illegal pork, chicken, beef and duck products coming into the country from China. That total is up 7% from 2021, and more than double the 2020 total, according to CBP.
CBP officials said these products are dangerous, not to humans, but to livestock and other animals. These animal products can carry diseases like African Swine Fever, Newcastle Disease, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and more. These diseases cannot be transmitted from animals to humans, officials said, but could cause 100% mortality rate in animals.
"Prohibited animal products could seriously threaten U.S. agriculture, our natural resources and our economy," said Carlos Martel with the Director of CBP's Field Operations in Los Angeles.
This contraband can sometimes be more difficult to locate, because officials said it is sometimes found in the same boxes of counterfeit products like tablets, cell phone covers, clothing, kitchenware and more.