STERLING, Virginia — What do they call prairie oysters in Mongolia?
Customs officials at Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport were shocked to find 13 pounds of horse genitals in the luggage of two women traveling to the U.S. from Mongolia.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said the women were also carrying 42 pounds of horse meat stashed inside juice boxes as well as three liters of yak milk when they tried to enter the country on Jan. 29.
The women told the agents the horse genitals were intended to be used for medicinal purposes.
The agency said it is used to seeing people try to bring plenty of odd things through Dulles Airport , “from charred full monkeys, to voodoo ceremony tools, to cocaine concealed inside the cavity of fully cooked chickens, to live sea horses and giant African land snails.”
But the horse meat definitely caught their attention.
In general, horse meat is not allowed to be brought into the United States without proper certifications due to the risk of it carrying foot and mouth disease, officials say. Horsemeat from Mongolia is banned outright, however, “due to concerns of introducing animal diseases to U.S. livestock industries.”
The horse meat and yak’s milk were incinerated. The women who were carrying it were not charged and were allowed into the country, officials said.
“Customs and Border Protection takes no pleasure in seizing and destroying travelers’ food products,” said Wayne Biondi, port director for Washington Dulles. “We’re in the business of protecting America’s agriculture industries, like the livestock industry, from the potential introduction of animal diseases posed by these unpermitted food products.”
The agency says that on an average day, customs officials inspect over 1 million passengers as well as air and sea cargo coming into the United States, seizing and quarantining over 5000 agriculture items including plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil.