Man with snacks caught by sniffer dog and fined

A passenger arrived at an Australian airport with undeclared food — an order from McDonald’s — and was discovered by a sniffer dog, an offense considered serious amid the country’s foot-and-mouth disease crisis. The police bitch, called Zintadiscovered the two McMuffins of egg and sausage and a ham croissant in the passenger’s backpack.

He was fined $2,664 (R$ 9,700 at the current price) for not previously declaring high-risk biosafety items.

According to the portal Today, for security measures, the entry of unknown foods is not allowed, as the man was traveling from Indonesia with the McDonalds meal, on a flight to Darwin airport, Australia. The country is currently free of foot-and-mouth disease and dogs like Zinta work to maintain it.

“This will be the most expensive McDonald’s meal this passenger has ever had. This fine is twice the cost of an air ticket to Bali, but I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey Australia’s stringent biosecurity measures, and detections recent claims that anyone who does so will be caught,” Murray Watt, Australia’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, said in a statement.

According to Watt, Zinta was stationed at Darwin Airport in a preemptive effort by the Australian government to counter its biosecurity efforts. The snack will be tested for foot-and-mouth disease and will later be destroyed.

Zinta's owner and the dog in Darwin, Australia - Reproduction/Government of Australia - Reproduction/Government of Australia

Zinta’s owner and dog in Darwin, Australia

Image: Reproduction/Government of Australia

“Biosecurity is no joke – it helps protect jobs, our farms, food and supports the economy,” Watts added in his statement. “Passengers who choose to travel need to make sure they are meeting the conditions to enter Australia, following all biosecurity measures.”

In July, a woman traveling from Singapore was fined the same amount for forgetting to declare half of a Subway as soon as she landed in Australia. 19-year-old Australian Jessica Lee became popular on TikTok after revealing story how jet lag made her forget she brought a snack and therefore did not declare it upon arrival at the airport.

Acute infectious disease affects cattle and other domestic and wild ruminants. Its main symptoms are fever and vesicles or canker sores, especially in the mouth and on the feet of animals.

Fever is caused by a virus, it can be prevented by vaccination and appropriate prevention measures. It is transmitted by the movement of animals, people, vehicles and objects contaminated by the virus. Shoes, clothes and hands can also transmit the virus.

Since 2017, Brazil has implemented the Strategic Plan of the National Foot-and-Mouth Disease Surveillance Program (PE-PNEFA), scheduled to end in 2026. The plan is in line with the Sanitary Code for Terrestrial Animals, of the World Organization for Animal Health ( OIE), and with the guidelines of the Hemispheric Program for the Eradication of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (PHEFA), and seeks to eradicate the disease in South America.

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