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Biosecurity officials seize almost a tonne of contraband meat at Gold Coast airport in 2016

Biosecurity officials seize almost a tonne of contraband meat at Gold Coast airport in 2016 More than 6,700 contraband food items from international passengers arriving at Gold Coast Airport in 2016. try this siteMore than 6,700 contraband food items from international passengers arriving at Gold Coast Airport in 2016. Biosecurity officials seized almost a tonne of meat from international travellers at Queensland's Gold Coast airport in 2016, as passengers increasingly fail to adhere to Australian restrictions on food entering the country. The Agriculture Department has revealed that more than 6,700 contraband food items were collected at the Gold Coast airport alone in 2016. That was a 15 per cent increase on the previous year. In addition to 30 per cent more meat products, Gold Coast airport seafood seizures spiked 114 per cent to 302 kilograms. More than 175 kilograms of apples and pears, 300 egg products, and 419 citrus items were also found, all significantly more than the previous year. Queensland has been the epicentre of a string of serious biosecurity breaches in recent years, including fire ants, Panama disease and the white spot prawn virus. In 2015, Brisbane quarantine officials faced criticism when it was revealed that Hollywood actor Johnny Depp and his then wife failed to declare their dogs Pistol and Boo on arrival. In a statement, the Agriculture Department's head of biosecurity urged travellers to leave the food at home, saying contraband meat products could give devastating diseases a toehold in Australia. "ABARES modelling has calculated that an outbreak [of foot and mouth disease] could wreck our livestock industries and cost Australia more than $50 billion over 10 years," Lyn O'Connell said.

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-05-23/gold-coast-biosecurity-contraband-food-seized/8550434