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Bloody passenger sparks biosecurity alert

Bloody passenger sparks biosecurity alert

An air passenger ended up abandoning his blood-spattered clothes after a biosecurity alert at Wellington airport last month.

The kiwi passenger declared to Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) biosecurity officials that he had cow’s blood on clothes and shoes in his baggage after arriving from Namibia.

He said he had killed a cow in Namibia to be fed to a lion, says Andrew Spelman, MPI’s Central and South Manager, Border Clearance Directorate.

“We weren’t going to let the soiled clothing into the country unless it was treated. The biosecurity risk of it containing a disease that could damage New Zealand’s primary industries was too great.”

The passenger gave MPI permission to throw out the clothing, but he wanted to keep his shoes, so had them treated.

Mr Spelman says the interception was very unusual. “The only other similar incident I know from the last few years is when a pig farmer arrived at Wellington with some blood on his jeans.”

MPI searched the passenger’s bags for other biosecurity risk items, but didn’t find anything else of concern.

“The good thing here is the passenger declared the biosecurity risk goods. He saved himself a hefty fine and did his bit for protecting New Zealand’s economy and natural environment.”

Ends

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