Last week, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Tennessee seized a caprine skull from a shipment originating from the African country of Djibouti.
Shippers from Djibouti described the contents as “gift salt”, however, upon inspection, CBP found a salt-encrusted caprine skull with horns and tissue inside the skull. A goat-antelope is known as a caprine and are usually found in the mountains of Africa, Asia, North America and Europe.
Agriculture inspectors with the USDA seized the item because Djibouti is known to CBP as a country affected by foot and mouth diseases – a disease that was eradicated in the US in 1929.
While importers typically have a means to petition for a release of seized goods – given the nature of this shipment and the hazards posed to US livestock by foot and mouth disease, CBP destroyed the skull using “steam sterilization.”
If you have had any customs seizure or received a letter from the DOT, FDA, USDA, etc regarding seized goods, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu at email@example.com or by phone at 832.896.6288.