It’s not what you would call a happy meal.
A passenger flying into Darwin has been fined $2,664 after bringing an uneaten McDonald’s meal from Bali, breaking Australia’s strict biosecurity laws.
A statement released by Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said the passenger arrived last week with two beef and sausage egg McMuffins and a ham croissant.
Authorities are on high alert for biosecurity risks from Indonesia after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the country.
Seized items will be tested for disease before being destroyed.
The passenger received a Notice of Violation for failing to declare potentially high biosecurity risk items and providing a false and misleading document.
“This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger has ever had, this fine is double the cost of a plane ticket to Bali, but I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey the lockdown measures. Australia’s strict biosecurity, and recent detections show you’ll be caught,” Watt said.
The objects were spotted by a new detector dog at Darwin Airport named Zinta.
“Zinta has been placed at Darwin Airport as part of the Albanian government’s new biosecurity defenses, and it’s great to see that she is already contributing to the security of the country,” Watt said.
Last month, the federal government promised tough new biosecurity measures to guard against the outbreak. Sanitary floor mats have been installed at all international airports and sniffer dogs have been posted at Darwin and Cairns airports.
Mail from Indonesia and China is currently screened for the disease.
However, some have called for the borders with Indonesia to be closed temporarily, including a group of farmers who gathered in Colac, Victoria last week.
Foot-and-mouth disease is one of the most contagious animal diseases in the world and can devastate livestock.
The foot-and-mouth outbreak in the UK in 2001 resulted in the destruction of over 6 million animals, at an estimated cost of £8 billion.
It is not the first time recently that a passenger has breached Australia’s biosecurity laws after bringing a purchased fast food meal to an airport.
Perth teenager Jessica Lee last month went viral on TikTok after posting a video about how she was fined $2,264 for bringing a forgotten Subway sandwich on a flight from Singapore.
The publicity that followed around her story led to Subway sending her a voucher for $2,664 worth of sandwiches.
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