WASHINGTON – The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance (SITC) program seized and destroyed more than 1,900 lbs of prohibited pork, poultry, and ruminant products from New York City-area retailers.

The agency, under the US Department of Agriculture, said that the items were sourced from China and did not have the required import permits and health certificates. APHIS said that products were then considered a risk of introducing invasive plant and animal pests and diseases into the United States.

“APHIS is concerned about these prohibited products because China is a country affected by African swine fever (ASF), Classical swine fever, Newcastle disease, Foot-and-mouth disease, highly pathogenic avian influenza and swine vesicular disease,” the agency said. “ASF is of particular concern because the highly contagious and deadly viral disease that affects both domestic and feral swine of all ages has recently spread throughout China and Asia, as well as within parts of the European Union. Most recently, ASF was confirmed in pigs in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.”

Other branches of government that worked on this operation included USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, US Customs and Border Protection, and local New York City officials.

In response to the concerns about ASF, APHIS said it is working closely with other federal and state agencies, the swine industry, and producers to take the necessary actions to protect the commercial swine population and keep this disease out of the United States.

ASF is proven to be harmless to humans but deadly for swine. The disease has never been detected in the United States.

In 2021, SITC seized 224,568 lbs of prohibited agricultural items valued at over $1.7 million.