Why would people even do that? Not only will your luggage stink, it’s also unhygienic! According to the US Customs and Border Protection agency, people have been packing cow dung in their luggage because of the belief that it offers protection against COVID-19. Agents from the organization have discovered two cow dung patties in a suitcase left behind an Air India flight last month, as Slash Gear details:
Of note, the US CBP warns that cow dung is one of the items prohibited for transportation from India to the US. Despite some beliefs that cow dung may offer health benefits — including, increasingly, beliefs that it may protect against COVID-19 — the reality is that these products pose a risk of transmitting Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
This disease is found all over the world and is of particular concern for farms as it spread rapidly through livestock. The US has been free of Foot and Mouth Disease since 1929, and the US CBP warns that reintroducing it could be devastating to the international livestock market.
A single case of FMD would likely result in international livestock trade being temporarily suspended until the source of the disease can be eradicated. Concerns about the potential distribution of cow dung are higher than usual due to India’s tragic COVID-19 situation and the belief among some in the country that cow dung can boost immunity and help protect against infections.
Image via Slash Gear