The centipedes were found in an air mail shipment declared as "earphones" arriving from Malaysia, according to officials.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Federal authorities in Los Angeles on Wednesday announced the recent seizures of prohibited plant and animal products being imported into the country via ocean containers and postal and express air mail.
Among the shipments seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists:
All the shipments lacked the required official permits or certificates, Customs and Border Protection authorities said.
In fiscal year 2020, the CBP Los Angeles Field Office issued 2,695 Emergency Action Notifications, compared with 4,665 in fiscal year 2021, an increase of 73%, authorities said.
"The illegal importation of plants and animal products could introduce foreign pests and diseases threatening the United States vital agriculture industry,'' said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.
"These unprecedented numbers reflect the critical role of CBP's agriculture specialists in identifying and intercepting these shipments,'' Martel said.
The live centipedes and the dried sea cucumbers shipments were referred to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for investigation and final determination.
The FWS requires a license to trade in wildlife and possibly additional permits if the species is protected.
The propagative plants, the ruminant noodles and swine sausages were destroyed under USDA and CBP supervision using steam sterilization.
Many consumers are not aware of the importation restrictions, Martel said.
Pork products from African Swine Fever affected countries may introduce the virus to the United States, crippling the domestic pork industry and U.S. pork exports valued at $6.5 billion annually, Martel said.
The ASF is spread by contact with an infected animal's body fluids, and can be spread by ticks that feed on infected animals.
Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.