Passenger fined $1,874 after two undeclared Mac Muffins were found in luggage

(CNN) – A traveler traveling from Bali, Indonesia, to Australia found himself paying a heavy price for a McDonald’s breakfast.

The unnamed traveler was fined A$2,664 ($1,874) after two eggs, beef sausage McMuffins and a pork croissant were found in their luggage upon arrival at Darwin Airport in the Northern Territory last week.

The incident came days after Australian authorities implemented strict new biosecurity rules after Indonesia’s foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) spread to Bali, a popular destination for Australian tourists.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said a “range of unauthorized hazardous products”, including fast food items, were discovered in the passenger’s backpack by a biosecurity dog ​​named Zinta.

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

“This fine is double the cost of a flight ticket to Bali, but I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey Australia’s strict biosecurity measures, and recent revelations show you will be arrested.”

Strict biosecurity measures

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

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

The statement went on to confirm that the passenger had received a “12-unit violation notice for failing to declare potentially high-risk biosecurity items and to submit a false and misleading document.” Seized products should be tested for FMD before they are destroyed.

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

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Last month, Australia’s federal executive government announced a $9.8 million biosecurity package, with new measures being introduced across the country’s borders, including sanitary foot mats at all international airports and biosecurity dogs stationed at both Darwin and Cairns airports, after they The highly contagious disease began to be spread by livestock in Indonesia.

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

“Travelers from Indonesia will be subject to stricter biosecurity scrutiny due to the presence of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia,” read statement Issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests on July 19.

“Failure to declare a biosecurity risk is a breach of Australia’s biosecurity laws, and a Notice of Violation can be issued to anyone found to be in breach of up to $2,664.

“Travelers entering Australia on temporary visas may have their visas revoked and, if so, denied entry to Australia.”

While FMD is relatively harmless to humans, it causes painful blisters and lesions on the mouths and feet of cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and camels, preventing them from eating and causing severe lameness and in some cases, death.

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

“The effects on farmers if FMD enters is too dire to even think of,” said Fiona Simpson, president of the National Farmers Union, to CNN last month.

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

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Top photo: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests

CNN’s Hilary Whiteman also contributed to this report.

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