CBP: Minnesota agents seize giraffe feces woman planned to use for necklace

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) made an unusual discovery during their inspections last week.

The agency says its agriculture specialists chose to inspect a woman who arrived at MSP from a trip in Kenya after she declared having giraffe feces and told the agents she planned to make them into a necklace.

CBP says the woman said she had used moose feces at her home in Iowa in the past.

Unfortunately for her, CBP seized the giraffe feces, as she didn’t have the proper permit to bring them into the U.S. They were then destroyed in accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture’s destruction protocol, the agency says.

“There is a real danger with bringing fecal matter into the U.S.,” LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, the CBP director of field operations at the Chicago field office, said. “If this person had entered the U.S. and had not declared these items, there is high possibility a person could have contracted a disease from this jewelry and developed serious health issues.”

The agency noted that all ruminant animal feces require a veterinary services permit, and the droppings from Kenya were particularly problematic because Kenya is affected by African swine fever, cassical swine fever, Newcastle disease, foot and mouth disease and swine vesicular disease.

“CBP’s agriculture specialists mitigate the threat of non-native pests, diseases, and contaminants entering the United States,” Augustine Moore, the CBP area port director for Minnesota, added. “CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological and agriculture sciences, they inspect travelers and cargo arriving in the United States by air, land, and seaports of entry.”