JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Australia bars entry to Vietnamese woman for failing to declare raw pork

Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 15:07 GMT+7
Australia bars entry to Vietnamese woman for failing to declare raw pork
Passengers walk with their luggage towards departure gates at Sydney International Airport in Australia, October 25, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Australia has refused entry to a Vietnamese woman for failing to declare 10 kg (22 lb) of raw pork, seafood and poultry on arrival in Sydney, its first expulsion under a more strict biosecurity law, authorities said on Tuesday.

Already known for its tough biosecurity regulations, Australia has increased its vigilance to prevent the devastating African Swine Fever (ASF) from hitting its A$5.4-billion ($3.65-billion) pork industry.

The woman, 45, was stopped on Saturday after she flew into Sydney with 4.6 kg of pork and smaller amounts of quail, squid, pate, raw eggs and garlic in her luggage, authorities said in a statement.

“In the midst of what is potentially the biggest animal disease event the world has seen, it beggars belief that someone would deliberately attempt to bring pork meat past our border,” Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said in a statement, referring to the outbreak that has ravaged pig stocks worldwide.

Rather than levy a fine, and because of the large amount of undeclared food, immigration officials ordered the woman to return to Vietnam, making her the first person denied entry to Australia under the tougher law.

Officials did not give details of the woman apart from her nationality and age, and Reuters was not immediately able to approach her for comment.

In the past six months, Australia has stepped up surveillance of packages from Belgium, Slovakia, Serbia and most Asian countries in an attempt to keep out the swine fever.

A total of 27 tonnes of undeclared food has been detected entering Australia, 15% of which had traces of ASF, said Margo Andrae, chief executive of Pork Australia, a producer-owned body.

ASF, with mortality rates as high as 100%, can be spread via raw pork and people’s shoes and clothing. The infection has killed a quarter of the world’s pigs since spreading to Asia from Europe about a year ago, Andrae added.

“There’s no vaccine ... so it can wipe out the entire herd,” she said, adding that the other raw animal products carried by the woman also posed a biosecurity risk.

Australia’s stringent biosecurity laws have in the past ensnared some high-profile figures.

In 2015, Australia gave Hollywood actor Johnny Depp two days to return his two pet dogs to the United States for failing to declare them to customs.

Reuters

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news