Customs agents seized nearly 300 pounds of banned yak meat at JFK Airport after a shipment was found hidden in sweaters, shawls and pants, officials said Tuesday.
While yak meat is not illegal in America, importing the meat from countries affected by foot-and-mouth disease or other infectious cattle viruses is prohibited. In this case, the seized meat came from Nepal.
Certain seeds are also prohibited from import into the United States due to concerns about possible native plant contamination. Those, and dung pods, were included with the yak meat in the 291-pound-plus seizure.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, foot-and-mouth disease is a "worldwide concern that can spread quickly and cause significant economic damage." The import from Nepal was destroyed, authorities said.
It wasn't clear if authorities had identified the person or persons responsible for the shipment.