US customs staff destroyed a pair of cow dung cakes found in a leftover suitcase after they were brought in on an Air India flight.
Staff at US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) urged incoming air passengers to stop importing the delicacy as it poses a serious risk of reintroducing Foot and Mouth Disease to the country.
It comes after it was reported some people were using cow dung in a false belief it could fight Covid, which is currently ravaging the country.
An extraordinary CBP release explained how agriculture specialists at Washington Dulles Airport were deployed to inspect and destroy the "cake surprise" in suspiciously scented leftover luggage.
The authorities said: "That is not a typo."
The CBP explained the agricultural disease remains a worldwide concern and, if detected, could bring the international livestock trade to a halt.
The United States has been free of Foot and Mouth Disease since 1929.
Ministers in the Indian government have supported these claims, suggesting cow urine can cure cancer and that cow's milk contains gold.
Scientists are not persuaded by its benefits in treating coronavirus or any other illness, with the Indian Medical Association recently stating cow dung is likelier to spread diseases than cure them.
People in India warned not to smear cow poo on bodies to 'protect against Covid'
Mixed messaging from Indian politicians and faith leaders is also thought to have contributed to distrust in the country's vaccination program.
The "cakes", though not edible, are increasingly popular as a token in religious rituals.
They are sold in Indian supermarkets as well as in the US and the UK.
Cow manure is also thought to be a vital energy and cooking source, with cow dung used as a skin detoxifier, an antimicrobial and as fertiliser.
The incident is not being treated as a national security threat.
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