SAN DIEGO — A black, miniature pet pig was discovered in a vehicle by officers during an inspection at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

The encounter occurred on Sept. 11 around 8:30 a.m. when a 63-year-old traveler who was accompanied by his granddaughter applied for entry into the U.S. with valid documents. However, the other passenger, the pig in question, was without proper paperwork and was denied entry, said CBP.

Pets are only allowed to cross the border with a veterinary service permit, according to border officials, and pigs must also be regulated as livestock to be eligible to enter the U.S. A full explanation of live stock and pet movement regulations can be found here.

“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.” 

The owners voluntarily returned their pet pig back to Mexico and CBP said no further investigation was necessary.