6 live giant African snails seized at Detroit airport customs
U.S. Customs and Border Protection found six live giant African land snails inside a suitcase as a traveler recently arrived at Detroit Metro Airport – all destined to be eaten.
The snails were inside a suitcase when a traveler arrived in the United States from Ghana and were immediately intercepted by CBP.
According to CBP, they were all intended for consumption, which may pose risks to human health and the environment.
“Our CBP officers and agriculture specialists are working diligently to target, detect and intercept potential threats before they have a chance to harm American interests,” Port Manager Robert Larkin said. “The discovery of this highly invasive pest truly benefits the health and well-being of the American people.”
Giant African snails can carry a parasitic nematode that can cause meningitis in humans.
Snails can also eat at least 500 different types of plants, as well as plaster and stucco, which means they can cause significant damage to structures and ecosystems.
They are considered a banned pest in the United States, although they are popular for eating and even kept as pets in other countries.