Traveller fined $2664 for bizarre find in luggage at Perth airport
A man attempting to enter Australia with six kilograms of meat in his baggage has had his visa cancelled and fined nearly $2700, with politicians saying "enormous damage" could have been done to the country's farmers.
Some 3.1kgs of duck, 1.4 kg of beef rendang, more than 500 grams of frozen beef and nearly 900 grams of chicken was discovered in the man's bags during an inspection by Australian biosecurity officers at Perth Airport last week.
The man had declared on his incoming passenger card that he was not bringing any meat, poultry, or other food into Australia.
Australian Border Force officers cancelled the man's visa following the discovery, Minister for Home Affairs Clare O'Neil said.
He was also fined $2,664 and has since been deported.
Last month the federal government introduced harsher penalties banning people from bringing meat into Australia from countries dealing with highly contagious foot and mouth disease - which poses a major risk to Australia's agricultural industry.
"This is a very serious breach and this traveller has been hit with the toughest penalties at our disposal," Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said.
"The actions of Biosecurity Officers and ABF at the border have once again protected the Australian community and our agricultural sector from harmful biosecurity risks that have the potential to do enormous damage."
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The types of meat in the man's luggage posed a risk of carrying foot and mouth disease risk, and African swine fever.
"Strictly enforcing our borders ensures a strong biosecurity system to protect our international trade reputation as a leading supplier of safe, healthy, high-quality food."
Any food permitted inside Australia would be returned to travellers, he added.
"This is why legislation is in place to cancel the visa of any traveller who commits a significant biosecurity breach or repeatedly contravenes biosecurity laws," Ms O'Neil added.
Travellers who have their visas cancelled are deported from Australia on the first available flight.
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