EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The pig stays.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recently blocked a miniature pet pig from entering the U.S.
It arrived in the back seat of a vehicle about 8:30 a.m. Sept. 11 at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego.
The 63-year-old driver pulled up with his granddaughter and reportedly declared the black, miniature-size pet pig, according to a CBP news release.
But they were told their pig would not be allowed entry into the United States.
CBP agriculture specialists say that live pigs are not allowed entry into the U.S. without a required Veterinary Service permit, and pigs must also be regulated as livestock to be eligible to cross into the U.S. from other countries.
“While many travelers would like to cross pets of different breeds into the U.S., we must ensure from a customs perspective that we mitigate potential diseases from animals that come from other countries,” said Rosa Hernandez, Acting Director of Field Operations of San Diego. “It’s unfortunate that some travelers are unable to cross their pets, but we must follow USDA and CDC guidelines to protect our citizens.”
CBP added that African rodents, bats, nonhuman primates, and civets may not be imported as pets at all.
The owners of the pig voluntarily returned it to Mexico.