A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) dog caused a stir at Boston Logan International Airport after making a rare discovery in a traveler’s luggage: mummified remains of four monkeys. While authorities didn’t press any charges against the individual, they seized his almost 9-pound bushmeat for destruction.
Meat from wild animals is banned in the United States
According to a CBP spokesperson, the passenger had returned to the U.S. from Africa, specifically the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He told authorities his luggage only contained dried fish, but then a CBP K9 sniffed it out and they realized that the suspicious luggage contained illegal bushmeat.
WBNS-10TV reports that officials found “dead and dehydrated bodies of four monkeys” in the passenger’s luggage. The man admitted he had brought the bushmeat to the U.S. for his own consumption. While this incident occurred in January 2024, officials made it publicly known this month, Feb. 9.
Bushmeat — otherwise described as raw or minimally processed meat from wild animals such as antelopes, monkeys, cane rats, and bats — is banned in the United States. The U.S. doesn’t allow entry of bushmeat into the country because of the significant disease risks associated with it.
“The potential dangers posed by bringing bushmeat into the United States are real. Bushmeat can carry germs that can cause illness, including the Ebola virus.” Julio Caravia, CBP’s local port director, said.
Furthermore, the port director commended the CBP team for a job well done, as reported by CBS Boston. “The work of CBP’s K9 unit and Agricultural Specialist were vital in preventing this potential danger from entering the U.S.”
The Central for Disease Control (CDC) asked the airline to destroy the mummified monkey remains, in line with CDC’s bushmeat importation policies. According to the CDC, sneaking bushmeat into the U.S. attracts a $250,000 fine.