The flyer, carrying two undeclared Beef and Sausage Egg McMuffins and a ham croissant in his luggage, was fined for flouting Australia’s strict new biosecurity rules which were introduced as a measure precaution against an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia.
A traveler had to pay more than double the airfare to Bali to sneak into McMuffins in Australia. Australian Department of Agriculture
Recently, a traveler arriving in Australia from Indonesia was fined AUD 2,664 ($1,874) for carrying a McDonald’s meal in his backpack, more than double the plane ticket to Bali.
The unidentified traveler was sniffed out of the queue by a black Labrador named Zinta at Darwin airport after landing in Australia on a flight from Bali.
According to a report by NC, the flyer carried two undeclared Beef and Sausage Egg McMuffins and a ham croissant in her luggage.
Why was he fined?
Australia has been on high alert for days and authorities have introduced new biosecurity rules after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia spread to Bali, which is a popular destination for Australian tourists.
According to Subway, the traveler was fined for failing to declare items of potential high biosecurity risk and providing a false and misleading document.
The report says that if the highly contagious disease arrived in Australia, it could cost the country 80 billion Australian dollars over the next decade.
In response to the incident, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said: “This will be the most expensive Macca 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 Australia’s strict biosecurity measures, and recent detections show you will be taken.”
He added in a statement that passengers should ensure they meet the requirements to enter Australia, following all biosecurity measures.
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.
In a similar case, a woman was fined the same amount for bringing a subway into the country from Singapore.
What is foot-and-mouth disease?
According to The Guardian, Indonesia has until July 27 reported 429,000 cases of foot-and-mouth disease since it was first detected in May this year.
Indonesia is struggling to control the disease, which is estimated to cost the Indonesian economy US$1.37 billion annually, according to an analysis by the Indonesian Cattle and Buffalo Breeders Association.
Foot-and-mouth disease affects cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, buffaloes, camels, sheep, goats, deer and pigs. It causes blisters in and around the mouth and infected animals may drool or limp.
Although animals can recover, there is no treatment or cure for the disease. Although its cases are rare in humans, we can carry the virus in the nose for up to 24 hours and act as a carrier.
Foot-and-mouth disease should not be confused with hand-foot-mouth disease commonly seen in children. The two diseases are different and are caused by different organisms.
How is Australia preparing to fight foot-and-mouth disease?
Last month, the Australian government announced a $9.8 million biosecurity program, with new measures introduced across the country’s borders, including hygiene mats at all international airports and stationed biosecurity dogs at Darwin and Cairns airports, after the highly contagious disease began spreading through livestock. in Indonesia, CNN reported.
“Travellers arriving from Indonesia will be subject to much stricter biosecurity screening due to the presence of foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia,” read a statement released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. July 19.
Under the new rules, anyone entering Australia without declaring biosecurity risks could receive an offense notice 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.”
With contributions from agencies
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