The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorities discovered a roasted pig’s head inside an airline passenger’s check-in baggage at the Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Georgia, last week.

The discovery was credited to the Agriculture Detector dog named Hardy, which is a six-year-old beagle. Hardy has worked at Atlanta’s airport since 2015 as part of CBP’s “Beagle Brigade,” after successfully completing the U.S. Department of Agriculture training at the National Detectors Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia.

On Oct. 11, while working at the airport, Hardy’s nose picked up a unique smell coming from a baggage belonging to a passenger who was travelling to the United States from Ecuador, according to a press release.

The agricultural specialists were alerted and they began searching the bag. Inside it, they discovered a roasted pig’s head wrapped in aluminum foil, which weighed two pounds.

The cooked pig’s head was immediately seized and destroyed.

"Our best defense against destructive pests and animal diseases is to prevent the entry of prohibited agriculture products from entering the United States," said Carey Davis, CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Atlanta. "This seizure at ATL illustrates the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States."

CBP added all agricultural products brought in by flight passengers from other countries had to be declared to the authorities, before they entered the U.S.

“When entering into the U.S., every fruit, vegetable or food products must be declared to a CBP agricultural specialist or CBP officer and must be presented for inspection — regardless of origin,” the CBP said.

It was not clear if the passenger from Ecuador, whose baggage contained the pig’s head, had declared he was carrying restricted content.

There were stricter restrictions implemented on all raw as well as cooked pork products in an attempt to prevent meat-related foot and mouth disease, swine fever and other animal diseases.

"Pork and pork products from other continents are prohibited from entry into the U.S. to prevent the potential introduction of foreign animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever, and swine vesicular disease," said CBP.

This was not the first time a beagle had successfully intercepted cooked pork inside a passenger’s luggage. Back in 2016, another detection-trained K-9 named Joey sniffed out an entire roasted pig inside the baggage of a passenger from Peru. The cooked pork was similarly seized and destroyed at the time.

According to Department of Homeland Security, over 1 million people were subjected to inspection by the CBP at the U.S. ports of entry, and on an average day hundreds of pests and thousands of materials including plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil were intercepted by agents and their K-9s.

“The CBP agriculture specialist and the CBP officer at U.S. ports of entry and international mail facilities target, detect, intercept, and thereby prevent the entry of these potential threats before they have a chance to do any harm,” CBP’s “Protecting Agriculture” page read.