An airline passenger arrived at an Australian airport with undeclared food, and authorities didn’t like it.
A detector dog sniffed out the biosecurity breach last week after a passenger from Indonesia snuck a McDonald’s meal on a flight to Darwin International Airport in Australia.
The airport’s new biosecurity detector dog, Zinta, discovered the two beef and sausage egg McMuffins and a ham croissant in the passenger’s backpack. The passenger was slapped with a 12-unit fine, amounting to $2,664, or $1,874 in US dollars, for failing to declare potentially high biosecurity risk items and issuing a form false and misleading travel declaration.
“This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger has ever had, this fine is double the cost of a plane ticket to Bali, but I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey the measures of Australia’s strict biosecurity, and recent detections show you will be caught,” Murray Watt, Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, said in a statement.
According to Watt, Zinta was placed at Darwin airport in an effort to fight against its biosecurity efforts. Australia is currently FMD free, and dogs like Zinta are working to achieve this status. Loot from Mickey D’s will be tested for foot-and-mouth disease and will then be destroyed.
“Biosecurity is no joke – it helps protect jobs, our farms, food and supports the economy,” Watts added in his statement. “Passengers choosing to travel should ensure they are eligible to enter Australia by following all biosecurity measures.”
The biosecurity measures could serve as food for thought for travelers to the island country where food safety laws are particularly strict.
In July, a woman traveling from Singapore was fined A$2,664 for forgetting to declare half a Subway Footlong once she landed in Australia. 19-year-old Australian Jessica Lee has gone viral on TikTok after revealing in a story how jet lag made her forget she brought a Chicken Footlong topped with lettuce on board and then didn’t say so .
“I just paid $2,600 for my metro just from Singapore,” she explained in her video message at the time. “I bought a one foot Subway at Singapore airport because I was a starving girl after my 11 o’clock flight. I ate six inches before my second flight and then saved the six inches left for the flight, which (airline agents) were more than happy with.