Customs discovers caprine skull shipped to facility in Memphis

Customs discovers caprine skull shipped to facility in Memphis
(Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection made a rare find in Memphis last week.

Wednesday, an agricultural specialist found a caprine skull in a package sent from Djibouti.

The skull was encrusted in salt and inside a package marked as gift salt.

Customs was able to see horns and tissue visible under the salt crust and confiscated the skull.

Caprines, also known as goat-antelopes, in Djibouti are known to be affected with Foot and Mouth Disease, spread by contact with other animals.

According to USDA, the disease was eradicated in the United States in 1929.

“This particular disease is detrimental to U.S. agriculture,” explained Stanley Pirtle, CBP New Orleans agricultural operations manager. “It could create an outbreak among U.S. livestock if it’s allowed to enter the country and is improperly handled.”

The skull was destroyed using steam sterilization because of the risk of potential disease.

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