Bali tourist cops $2664 fine for McDonald's meal at Australian border

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A cheeky Maccas run in Bali has cost an Aussie traveller almost $3,000 after they were caught with McMuffins arriving on a flight into Darwin airport.

The airport’s new biosecurity detector dog Zinta sniffed out the unhappy meal in a passenger’s backpack last week.

A further inspection uncovered two egg and beef sausage McMuffins, hot cakes and a ham croissant.

The undeclared and at risk meat has resulted in a whopping $2,664 bill for the significant biosecurity breach.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt described the contraband food as 'the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger will ever have.
Agriculture Minister Murray Watt described the contraband food as 'the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger will ever have". Source: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

“This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has,” Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said in a statement.

“The fine is twice the cost of an airfare to Bali but I have no sympathy for people who chose to disobey Australia’s strict biosecurity measures, and recent detections show you will be caught.”

The seized meat products will be tested for foot and mouth disease before they are destroyed.

“Australia is foot and mouth free and we want it to stay that way,” Mr Watt added.

“Biosecurity is no joke. It helps protect jobs, our farms, food and supports the economy.

“Passengers who choose to travel need to make sure they are fulfilling the conditions to enter Australia by following all biosecurity measures.”

Two men examining a cow
A foot and mouth disease outbreak in Australia could cost $80 billion over a decade. Source: AAP

Foot and mouth risk

Foot and mouth disease is a highly contagious virus that affects hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

It was first detected in Indonesia in May and quickly spread to Bali, a popular destination for Aussie travellers.

If it reaches Australia, the federal government warns an outbreak could cost the economy $80 billion over 10 years.

Zinta and the dog's handler
Darwin airport's new detection dog Zinta followed the trail to uncover the McDonald's meal. Source: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

As part of the country’s new $14 million biosecurity package to deliver more frontline defences in mail centres and airports, biosecurity dogs have been stationed at Darwin and Cairns airports.

All incoming mail from Indonesia and China is also being screened for meat products.

While foot and mouth disease is carried by live animals, it can also be found in meat and dairy products and survive in frozen, chilled and freeze-dried foods.

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