Candie, left, and Chipper, right, sniffed out the snails and food pictured. Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Customs beagles sniff out giant snails in luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson

U.S. Customs and Border Protection beagles detected two Giant African Snails in the luggage of a passenger arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on a flight from Nigeria.

The beagles named Candie and Chipper are part of Customs’ “beagle brigade”. They alerted to the passenger’s checked bags at the international arrival baggage claim area.

A Customs agriculture specialist found the snails in a suitcase, along with prohibited fruits and vegetables. The snails were turned over the the USDA for evaluation, while the food was destroyed.

These Giant African Snails were seized at Hartsfield-Jackson. Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Such snails are illegally imported for classroom exhibits, as pets or for food, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

The Giant African Snail is “one of the most damaging snails in the world because it consumes at least 500 types of plants and can cause structural damage to plaster and stucco structures,” reproduce quickly and can cause meningitis, the USDA says on its website.

The traveler was warned about properly declaring pests and agriculture to Customs. 

Our beagles sniffing out these snails highlights how valuable our canine members are to protecting the U.S.,” said Customs acting area port director Lee Deloatch.

About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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