USA Today, in their article “Feds find three charred monkeys in traveler’s suitcase,” is reporting that the charred remains of three monkeys have been found in the suitcase of a traveler returning from central Africa. The remains were discovered by customs agents at Dulles International Airport. While the passenger was not charged with a crime, the remains were taken from him for health reasons; it is necessary to protect our country’s agriculture from foods that have not been evaluated by our country.
In a related story from the Associated Press, a woman and her mother have been convicted of smuggling a live rhesus monkey through Spokane, Washington’s airport. They were returning from a trip to Thailand.
The article, “Woman, mom convicted of smuggling into US,” the lady, Gypsy Lawson, 29, hid the monkey under blouse and feigned pregnancy. Her mother, Fran Ogren, 55, was aware of the situation.
They were convicted of conspiracy and smuggling goods into the US. Sentencing will occur March 3, 2008.
In case you are worried about the monkey, it is at a primate rescue facility.
Why is there a difference in the treatment of the two “smugglers?” It seems that we are more forgiving of other cultures’ with respect to their beliefs than someone who is breaking the law to be breaking the law.
Why should we be concerned about this type of thing?
I have written several articles on Associated Content about animals and products that have come to us from outside the country and created a number of problems.
I have linked to one article that relates to Mad Cow Disease . This reflects not only how far the illness has travelled, but the fact that it is not identifiable for a long period of time. It would just take minimal carelessness on our part to create a problem.
The other article is about the Asian Swamp Eel . This thing came from Asia and has no predators plus we haven’t figured out how to kill it. In the meantime it has been killing aquatic animals in the water homes where it lives.
These two examples are not near the only articles I’ve written about this problem. Numerous spiders alone have crossed borders accidently on food products.
Ii is important to be vigilant about this most important issue.