The weird and woeful big news at our borders

DPIRD biosecurity officers check cars at the WA/NT checkpoint.
Camera IconDPIRD biosecurity officers check cars at the WA/NT checkpoint. Credit: DPIRD

A vehicle stuffed with 40 plants and another carrying 20kg of pine cones were some of the strangest cases WA biosecurity officers encountered while inspecting checkpoints and airports during the past year.

More than 24,000kg of risky material was intercepted by biosecurity officers manning the frontline.

Some of the bizarre items seized by Federal Government officers in other parts of the country included a mummified pig foetus, live squirrels and freeze-dried quails.

DPIRD import clearance manager Grant MacDonald said the WA finds posed no less risk to the State’s $11 billion agriculture sector.

WA officers conducted 157,062 inspections on imported produce and seeds during the past year, leading to 40 plant pest intercepts, including geometrid moth, mango seed weevil and looper caterpillar.

Officers also inspected and certified more than 38,000 head of livestock imported into WA.

Mr MacDonald said items banned from being brought into WA included fresh fruit and vegetables, honey, seeds and plants, crustaceans and gardening tools dirty with soil and plant material.

He said one passenger at Perth Domestic Airport arrived carrying a large assortment of eggplants, garlic, apples, avocados, bananas and green beans.

“Used machinery, equipment and cargo containers must be free of soil and plant materialwhen entering WA, and some types of machinery may require certification or prior approval to be imported into the State,” he said.

“Restrictions may also apply to many animals, birds, fish and insects and it is advisable that people check for any requirements before bringing them into WA.”

He advised people to declare items to a quarantine inspector or deposit them in a bin, as penalties may be applied for risk items seized that have not been declared.

To find out more about quarantine requirements for WA, visit agric.wa.gov.au

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