EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Chicken lollipops with rawhide stems might sound like something your dog would enjoy, but they’re bad news for customs officials.
Because of animal disease concerns, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agricultural specialists recently seized and destroyed a shipment of the chicken-flavored pet treats destined from Hong Kong to Highlands, Texas.
The internationally purchased pet treats were manifested as a shipment of men’s sweaters when they arrived on April 14 at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. But CBP officers instead found 93 lollipops covered in colorful candy wrappers with cartoons of dog characters.
“Consumers are unaware that some international goods and products are prohibited or restricted because of the potential agriculture or biological risks associated with that product,” Dallas CBP Port Director Tim Lemaux said in a statement, adding that the shipment was seized “to protect the nation’s agriculture industry.”
CBP agriculture specialists work to prevent the introduction of foreign animal diseases, which can exist in items such as plants, meat, animal byproducts, and soils. The diseases can harm chicken and turkey flocks as well as potentially harm pigs, CBP said in a news release.
The disease CBP officer works to prevent include:
- Avian influenza 2, a highly pathogenic disease
- Newcastle disease
- Foot and mouth disease
- Classical swine fever
- Swine vesicular disease
All 93 lollipops were destroyed by steam sterilization.