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KayDee Gilkey Ever Watchful and Vigilant Customs and Border Inspection
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: April 28, 2017

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A recent headline mentioned that 300 pounds of banned yak meat was discovered at John F. Kennedy Airport. The meat had been smuggled in sweaters, pants and shawls. The confiscated and later destroyed yak meat came from Nepal, a country that has hoof and mouth disease as well as other infectious cattle viruses.

Earlier this month I visited with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joann Winks who shares more about her agency’s role

Winks: “Our job is to technically protect America’s Agriculture. Any of those disease, pests or federal noxious weeds that are coming in from foreign countries can infect our country in days, weeks and cost us of billions of dollars to eradicate. So our job is to keep it out at the first port of entry.”

Winks says that her agency does that through inspecting airline passengers and their luggage, cargo from international locations as well as inspecting people and vehicles at both our northern and southern borders. She advises summer travelers who will be returning home from foreign countries to check the website cbp.gov in their Know Before You Go to learn about restrictions of that country. She adds

Winks: “You can always bring stuff back — just declare it. And we’ll tell you if it is allowed or not allowed. You could be out of the country and you could’ve tried and looked it up before you left and it changed in two weeks while you were gone. So always declare what you have.”

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