U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists recently discovered cow dung cakes while examining leftover baggage recently at Washington Dulles International Airport.
The two “cakes” were found in a suitcase left behind after passengers from an Air India flight cleared CBP’s inspection station on April 4.
Cow dung is reported to be a vital energy and cooking source in some parts of the world, according to the CBP.
“Cow dung has also been reportedly used as a skin detoxifier, an antimicrobial, and as a fertilizer. Despite these alleged benefits, cow dung from India is prohibited due to the potential introduction of foot and mouth disease,” the agency said in a news release.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a worldwide concern as it can spread widely and rapidly and causes significant economic losses to livestock populations. A single detection of FMD will likely stop international livestock trade completely until authorities can eradicate the disease threat. The United States has been FMD free since 1929.
“Foot and Mouth Disease is one of the animal diseases that livestock owners dread most, has grave economic consequences, and it is a critical threat focus of Customs and Border Protection’s agriculture protection mission,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “CBP’s agriculture specialists are our nation’s frontline protectors of vital agricultural and natural resources that help keep our nation’s economy strong and robust.”
The cow dung cakes were destroyed.