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FMD: Undeclared McDonalds meal costs Bali passenger $2664

Sheep Central, August 1, 2022

Undeclared FMD-risk products found by new detector dog Zinta at Darwin airport.

MCMUFFINS and a croissant from Bali have cost a passenger returning from Indonesia more than $2600 in fines at the Darwin airport.

Two undeclared egg and beef sausage McMuffins from McDonalds in Bali and a ham croissant were detected in a backpack by biosecurity staff after being alerted by new detector dog Zinta.

Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt said the passenger was issued a $2664 infringement notice. The seized meat products will be tested for Foot and Mouth Disease before they are destroyed.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said Zinta sniffed out the significant biosecurity breach last week.

“This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has.

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

“Australia is FMD-free, and we want it to stay that way.

“Zinta was placed at Darwin Airport as part of the Albanese Government’s tough new biosecurity defences, and it’s excellent to see she is already contributing to keeping the country safe,” he said.

Detector dog Zinta in Darwin with handler at Darwin airport.

“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,” Mr Watt said.

The Federal Government said the passenger was issued a 12-unit infringement notice for failing to declare potential high biosecurity risk items and providing a false and misleading document.

Last month the Albanese Government announced a new $14 million biosecurity package to deliver more frontline defences in mail centres and airports, including biosecurity dogs at Darwin and Cairns airports. The government has also rolled out sanitation foot mats at all international airports, along with support on the ground for Indonesia and neighbouring countries.

Sheep Central believes all passengers coming back from Indonesia are assessed, but only those deemed to be a risk after profiling have their luggage checked by the detector dogs. A DAFF spokesperson said the department has 43 detector dogs, deployed across airports, mail and cargo.

“The detector dogs are being used as part of our detection capability for passengers from Indonesia.

“A passenger may be intervened with by a biosecurity officer for targeted questioning, X-ray screening, detector dog screening or baggage inspection,” the spokesperson said.

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