Tourist Fined, Sent Home After Trying To Bring Four Kilos Of Pork Products Through Customs
A man who failed to declare pork products after touching down in Australia has been fined and refused entry as the government continues its "zero tolerance" approach to the risk of African swine fever.
The fatal disease has decimated pig herds across Europe and Asia and could cost the Australian pork industry $2 billion if a local outbreak occurred.
The 60-year-old Vietnamese man had arrived in Sydney with close to four kilos of pork-filled savoury mooncakes in his luggage but failed to declare it.
Authorities fined him before he was sent home.
Nearly half of all pork products taken from air travellers have tested positive for African swine fever.
"That's why I have a zero-tolerance approach to those who intentionally do the wrong thing and lie about what they're carrying," Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said on Monday.
"If pork products carrying the virus get past our border, are eaten by family and friends and the leftovers fed to pigs then we'll be in a world of pain."
The incident comes just weeks after a Vietnamese woman was deported after being found with 4.5 kilograms of pork at Sydney airport.
There's no vaccine or cure for the disease, which has wiped out a quarter of the world's pigs.
There is estimated to be up to 24 million wild boars across Australia, sparking fears the disease could spread quickly if it gets into the wild.
It can be spread when pigs eat infected meat products and through direct contact.
The disease cannot kill humans.