Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Giant African Snails From Nigeria Seized and Destroyed at Los Angeles Airport

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Airport officials in LA have seized and destroyed a consignment of 67 live African snails sent from Nigeria to a resident in the US, saying the snails are poisonous and highly destructive.

The snail consignment arrived in the States from Nigeria on July 1st in a blue baskets pictured above.

When I heard the news on the radio here, I laughed and then I shook my head, sad at the poor snails and the Nigerian who will be crying because there will be no snail in their cooking pot this month.

I remember one time I travelled to Nigeria and was coming back with these two beautiful tubers of yam my MIL had painstakingly selected for me and it was seized and destroyed at customs. I cried for a whole year, and still tremble with the last vestiges of that pain till today. Don't blame me, I love yam.

Back to the tory jare...

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the snails are prohibited because they can carry parasites that are harmful to humans, including one that can lead to meningitis. They also say it can destroy local crops.

Maveeda Mirza, the U.S Customs and Border Protection  program manager say they are investigating why an individual would want to consume such an amount of deadly snails. She said;

"We're investigating what happened, but it doesn't seem like there was smuggling involved. When someone doesn't know a commodity is prohibited under USDA regulations there is usually no punishment." 

What the owner of the snails should have done is maybe smoked and packed the thing well in newspaper wrappings. I've also realized that US Customs regulations on prohibited food change regularly, so anyone who wants to bring back stuff or send for their favorite delicacies should check their website.

RIP Snails, even though I don't own you, I wish I had you in my pot or oven.

1 comment:

  1. Myne, the giant african snails are banned in Antigua too. they are destroying our crops and reproduce at such a fast rate, we haven't found a way to eradicate them. they were introduced on the island through smuggled plants


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