08/29/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)
Washington – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to stop giant African snails from being sold in the country illegally. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), department authorities have seized over approximately 1,200 of the large snails since June.
As noted by the AP, all of the live specimens of the snails seized were traced back to the same seller in Georgia, who was running his operation illegally. The Agriculture Department has not identified any of the people involved in the illegal sales of the snails; however an investigation is reportedly ongoing.
The large snails reportedly pose a health threat to humans and can destroy crops and property. According to officials, due to the snails’ ability to multiply quickly, it is important to capture them quickly.
Wendolyn Beltz, a director in the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, is quoted by the AP as stating, “The more people who know about giant African snails and know that they are illegal in the United States, the better we are in keeping them out… If they didn’t know and they are reaching out to us to do the right thing, there will be absolutely no penalties for that.”
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