Beagles Sniff Out Contraband At DFW Airport, Travelers Urged To Research Banned Items – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection urges international travelers to be careful which unsafe items are banned from entering the country.
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“We’re doing this to protect American agriculture here,” said Selena Parker, agriculture specialist and K9 handler at DFW International Airport.
Parker works with Maggey, a five year old beagle, to track down the prohibited items.
“We work as many flights as you know we think we can. If she feels like working a lot, we do that and depending on the flight schedule, too. If we find these items, or if the dog shows interest in a bag, which means it gives a seated response, then we make a recommendation and the agronomist searches the bags and if he finds a prohibited item he takes it out, ”added Parker added.
Prohibited items can range from groceries to wooden products to souvenirs as they could harbor live pests. In particular, the agency prevents “anything that would harm the health of the community, public safety, American workers, children, or the life of plants and animals in the home, or destroy America’s national interests.” Sometimes the products that cause injury, or have the potential to do so, seem quite innocent.
“We had live birds that got through here, the raw meat is pretty interesting, people bring bison, meat they bring lamb, you know we get exotic fruit here,” said Parker.
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In the terminal, the beagles use their noses to find out which bags in the baggage carousel contain some of these prohibited items. After an initial check in the baggage area, the baggage that the Beagles have drawn the specialists’ attention to is brought to an examination area, where each piece of baggage is checked individually and opened several times to see its contents.
The passengers have to declare all food they have brought with them, the inspectors decide what is good and what must be thrown away.
Failure to enroll travelers is a civil penalty with fines of $ 300 on the first offense, $ 500 on the second offense, or sometimes jail time.
Agriculture experts understand that some travelers might be upset when they see their family’s kitchen thrown in the trash, but say it is just to protect the economy: “Everyone wants their specific food from their country, but sometimes they can Things just don’t come in so I would just say enjoy them while you are there, don’t bring them back to the US, enjoy our food crops we have here and keep them safe, ”said agricultural specialist Mary McNeil.
For the full list of prohibited items, click here.
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