Passenger fined $1,874 after two undeclared McMuffins found in luggage

(CNN) — A passenger traveling from Bali, Indonesia to Australia found himself paying top dollar for a McDonald’s breakfast.

The anonymous traveler was fined A$2,664 ($1,874) after two undeclared Beef and Sausage Egg McMuffins and a ham croissant were found in their luggage upon arrival at the airport. Darwin airport in the country’s Northern Territory last week.

The incident came days after Australian authorities introduced tough new biosecurity rules after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia spread to Bali, a popular destination for Australian tourists.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said a ‘range of undeclared risk products’, including fast food items, were detected in the passenger’s backpack by a detector dog of biosafety named Zinta.

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

“This fine is double the cost of a plane ticket 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 taken.”

Strict biosecurity measures

Australia has implemented a number of new biosecurity measures, including a detector dog at Darwin Airport in the country's Northern Territory, due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia.

Australia has implemented a number of new biosecurity measures, including a detector dog at Darwin Airport in the country’s Northern Territory, due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Department

The statement went on to confirm that the passenger had received “a 12-unit violation notice for failing to declare potentially high biosecurity risk items and providing a false and misleading document.” Seized products must be tested for foot-and-mouth disease before being destroyed.

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

Last month, Australia’s Federal Executive Government announced a $9.8 million biosecurity program, with new measures introduced across the country’s borders, including sanitary floor mats at all international airports and security dogs. biosecurity stationed at Darwin and Cairns airports, after the highly contagious disease began. spread by livestock in Indonesia.

Experts estimate an outbreak in Australia could result in an economic hit of up to $80 billion.

“Travellers arriving from Indonesia will be subject to much stricter biosecurity screening due to the presence of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Indonesia”, read a statement published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on July 19.

“Failure to report biosecurity risks will mean a breach of Australian biosecurity laws, and anyone found in breach could be issued a notice of violation of up to $2,664.

“Travelers entering Australia on temporary visas may have their visa canceled and, if so, will be refused entry to Australia.”

Although foot-and-mouth disease is relatively harmless to humans, it causes painful blisters and sores on the mouths and feet of cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and camels, preventing eating and causing severe lameness and death in some cases.

The disease can be transmitted by live animals, in meat and dairy products, and on the clothes, shoes or even luggage of people who have come into contact with infected animals.

“The impacts on farmers if foot and mouth disease gets in the way are too heartbreaking to even consider,” Fiona Simson, president of the National Farmers Federation, told CNN last month.

“But it’s not just about farmers. Erasing $80 billion from Australia’s GDP would be an economic disaster for everyone.”

Top image: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

CNN’s Hilary Whiteman also contributed to this report.

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