MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers say they have confiscated bushmeat multiple times since December at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
CBP said officers seized over 100 pounds in the last week of December from U.S. citizens returning from Liberia. The trend “could have deadly effects and lead to another outbreak of disease,” a release said.
The passengers declared “fish” on their written and verbal declarations, but upon further inspection, officers found fish and bushmeat in the same package.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says bushmeat is raw or minimally processed meat which comes from wild animals such as monkeys, cane rats, bats, and other nonhuman primates. The meat, which is often smoked, dried, or salted, poses a risk of human infection and the spread of Ebola virus.
Last week, agriculture specialists stopped a passenger returning from Liberia and asked if he had any bushmeat. The passenger said he had “parts of a monkey” but it was “two primate arms and primate rib material,” according to Area Port Director-Minnesota Augustine Moore.
The agriculture department says the fine for bringing bushmeat into the country is $250,000. The confiscated bushmeat was destroyed.