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Seizing five mooncakes a day kept pests and disease away

On average, five mooncakes, containing meat, were seized by biosecurity officers across Australia every day in the lead up to the recent Mid–Autumn Moon Festival.

Between 1 August and 22 September 2013, biosecurity officers uncovered 270 mooncakes containing meat as well as other gifts such as fresh fruit.

Customary gifts such as mooncake containing meat could carry unwanted pests and diseases into Australia and have a serious impact on our environment, industries and status as a trading nation.

Department of Agriculture’s Acting First Assistant Secretary of Border Compliance, Colin Hunter, said a strong biosecurity system benefitted everyone and that everyone has a role to play in helping maintain Australia’s biosecurity integrity.

‘Our biosecurity officers have done a great job this year, but we can’t do it alone,’ Mr Hunter said.

‘We’re pleased that many people help to protect our biosecurity system by letting family and friends overseas know about Australia’s biosecurity laws.

‘Not only is this good for Australia’s biosecurity, but it helps to reduce delays for people waiting to receive gifts.’

Mr Hunter also reminded people there was a wide range of mooncakes available in Australia for purchase.

Visitors to Australia should be aware that on arrival, their luggage could be checked for certain food, plant or animal items through an X–ray machine, by a detector dog team, or inspected by a biosecurity officer. Items sent by mail or ordered online undergo similar checks.

For more information on what can and cannot be mailed or brought into Australia during holidays and cultural festivals, visit the Department of Agriculture’s cultural and seasonal events webpage or call 1800 020 504 (free call in Australia).

by S. C.
03 october 2013, World News > Oceania

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