News

Pain in Spain from undeclared meat on plane

Beef Central, 16/01/2023

A Spanish traveller to Australia has paid the price for failing to declare biosecurity risk items.

Travellers trying to enter Australia with prohibited food products in 2023 are being hit with the country’s toughest biosecurity infringements under new measures introduced to protect Australian agriculture from foot and mouth disease and other threats.

Last October, the Federal Government announced it would increase the infringement amounts for people caught with banned items, to stop diseases and pests entering and establishing in Australia.

On January 1, a 20-year-old Spanish man became the first person to have his visa cancelled and fined $3300 for carrying over a kilogram of undeclared raw pork meat and cheese in his luggage.

Previously, a 12-penalty point infringement was $2,664.

Officials stopped the man in Perth last Tuesday, and discovered 275g of non-commercial pork pancetta, 665g non-commercial of pork meat, and about 300g of goats’ cheese in his luggage which was not declared.

Travellers who have their visa cancelled are removed from Australia on the earliest available flight and can face an exclusion period of three years before they are able to reapply for a visa.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt said it was a strong reminder that travellers will be caught and punished for breaking Australia’s tough biosecurity laws.

“I hope this man regrets his actions – his visit to Australia was over before it even began, and he’s been sent packing with a hefty fine,” Minister Watt said.

“We are serious about keeping foot and mouth and other diseases out of the country, and travellers need to remember that when they’re trying to enter Australia.

“This was a serious breach of Australia’s biosecurity laws and could put Australia’s agricultural industries at risk, as well as our environment and international trade reputation.

“I’d encourage all international passengers to think carefully about their passenger declarations, and if in doubt, just declare it.”

Find out more about your responsibilities when travelling to Australia.

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Comments

  1. R.Wollaston, 17/01/2023

    Break the law when it comes to something so deadly to the Australian industry, suffer the consequences , should never be allowed back

  2. Richard+Golden, 16/01/2023

    As with every infringement, the certainty of detection is far more deterrent than the fine. Even if undeclared food products carried the death penalty, only the certainty of detection will deter offenders.
    Like speeding on the roads, no matter the size of the fine or the loss of points, only certainty of detection stops the offence.

  3. Barry McNamara, 16/01/2023

    if in doubt, just declare it.” This is a good slogan and should be on all information for international travellers. We have too much at risk to allow diseases to enter the country and there must be no leniency shown. If the new fines don’t work then increase it.

  4. Brian Acheson, 16/01/2023

    Hi All

    That sounds great but as far as the fine goes I just wonder how they will be able to enforce payment.

    Regards Brian

    • allan hagan, 16/01/2023

      throw him in the slammer until his fine is paid off dont stuff around with these doughbangers

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