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

A passenger traveling from Bali, Indonesia to Australia found himself paying a high price for a McDonald’s breakfast.

The anonymous traveler was fined AU$2,664 ($1,874) after two undeclared Beef and Egg Sausage McMuffins and a Ham Croissant were found in his luggage upon arrival at Darwin Airport in the Northern Territory of the United States. country last week.

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

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said a biosecurity detection dog named Zinta detected a “range of undeclared risk products”, including fast food items, in the passenger’s backpack.

“This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger has ever had,” Murray Watt, minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, said in a statement.

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


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

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

Last month, Australia’s federal executive government announced a $9.8 million biosecurity package, with new measures introduced at the country’s borders, including sanitary mats at all international airports and biosecurity dogs stationed at airports in Australia. Darwin and Cairns, after the highly contagious disease began. spreading through cattle in Indonesia.

Experts estimate that an outbreak in Australia could lead to an economic impact of up to $80 billion.

“Travellers arriving from Indonesia will be under much stricter biosecurity scrutiny due to the presence of FMD in Indonesia,” read a statement released by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on July 19.

“Failure to declare biosecurity risks will be a breach of Australia’s biosecurity laws, and anyone who fails to comply could receive a notice of infringement of up to $2,664.

“Travellers entering Australia on temporary visas may have their visas cancelled, and if so, entry to Australia will be denied.”

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

The disease can be transmitted by live animals, in meat and dairy products, as well as in the clothing, shoes, or even luggage of people who have been in contact with infected animals.

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

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

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