Atlanta airport inspectors found quite the surprise last week in the baggage of a traveler from Ecuador.
There was a roasted pig head in the traveler’s checked luggage, as a photo of the discovery shows. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists sniffed out the contraband animal product on Oct. 11 with the help of Hardy, a highly-trained beagle who works at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, customs agents said in a news release.
The cooked pig’s head — which weighed in at two pounds — was seized and destroyed, according to the agency.
Pork products from outside North America are barred from coming into the country over concerns that they could carry foot and mouth disease or other animal-borne illnesses, according to customs agents.
“Our best defense against destructive pests and animal diseases is to prevent the entry of prohibited agriculture products from entering the United States,” Carey Davis, CBP Port Director for the Port of Atlanta, said in a statement.
Hardy has worked at Atlanta’s airport since 2015, when he finished up U.S. Department of Agriculture training. He’s a rescued beagle and is 6 years old.
Atlanta’s airport is the world’s busiest, according to customs agents.