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Unusual seizure vindicates NZ quarantine efforts

08-Oct-2012

An “unusual” seizure at Auckland International Airport was being hailed as proof that warnings by New Zealand quarantine inspectors are being heard by travellers, according to a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) official.

Salami produced from whale meat rang alarm bells for biosecurity officials at Auckland Airport last week.

The salami was confiscated by a MPI quarantine inspector from two New Zealand travellers, who had declared it before crossing the border.

It had been purchased in Norway as a souvenir, said team manager Steve Gay.

The passengers were happy to hand over the salami. The fact that they declared the item shows that our messages are getting through to travellers about declaring or disposing of goods that pose a biosecurity risk before entering New Zealand,” said Gay.

He added that the salami was “definitely one of the more unusual seizures” by airport biosecurity staff over the last month.

The product was not covered by an import health standard, which raised biosecurity concerns about possible diseases in the meat.

In addition to its biosecurity risk, there were concerns about whether the item was illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The salami has since been destroyed.

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