Agriculture Agents intercept avian eggs in Tennessee

Last month agents made the seizure in Memphis
(U.S. Border Patrol)
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 12:58 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists in Memphis on April 20 were inspecting a shipment from China en route to New York City that was manifested as “The Scarf” when agents noticed organic anomalies with the shipment.

Officials said that after further inspection, the 25 small boxes in the shipment were found to contain 750 unfertilized Avian Eggs placed inside foam cartons.

According to USDA, China is currently affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease. HPAI is a highly contagious viral disease that is often fatal to chickens.

According to the CDC, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization considered the Asian HPAI H5N1 virus to be endemic in China, along with Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Newcastle Disease is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds and poultry. The disease is so virulent that many birds and poultry die without showing any clinical signs. These foreign animal diseases pose a serious threat to the U.S. poultry industry and various avian wildlife.

“Our agriculture specialists are highly skilled in preventing shippers’ attempts to circumvent US laws and regulations regarding agriculture importations,” said Assistant Area Port Director Crystal Lopera. “This critical interception kept potentially viral and illegal poultry products from entering our commerce.”

Officials said that the eggs were not accompanied by any documentation, there was no indication of their purpose. Border Patrol said that the shipment was addressed to a private residence that was known for previously importing restricted animal products for consumption.

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