The traveler received a steep fine for bringing undeclared food into Australia.
Recently, an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in Indonesia prompted increased scrutiny from nearby travel destinations, including Australia. Australia is being more careful about travelers bringing food into the country in order to prevent the disease from spreading, which is why a traveler who thought they could sneak in some McMuffins was fined over a thousand dollars.
Over the weekend, the traveler, whose name has not been publicly divulged, was discovered to have two egg and sausage McMuffins and a ham crossiant from McDonald’s in their luggage when they arrived in Australia’s Darwin Airport. As penalty for this violation, the traveler was fined 2,664 Australian dollars, or about $1,874 USD.
“This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has,” Murray Watt, minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, said in a statement. “This fine is twice the cost of an airfare to Bali, but I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey Australia’s strict biosecurity measures, and recent detections show you will be caught.”
Foot and Mouth Disease is not harmful to humans, but can be extremely dangerous to farm animals like cattle, sheep, and pigs. As the disease can be carried fairly easily by humans, if it were to make its way to a farmer, the consequences would be severe for the Australian economy.
A traveller who touched down in Darwin from Indonesia has been fined $2664 after a biosecurity dog sniffed out undeclared McMuffins in their backpack amid a security crackdown over foot and mouth disease fears.https://t.co/PyEEG5KA5k
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) August 1, 2022
“The impacts on farmers if foot and mouth gets in are too gut-wrenching to even contemplate,” Fiona Simson, president of the National Farmers’ Federation, told CNN. “But it’s not just about farmers. Wiping $80 billion off Australia’s GDP would be an economic disaster for everyone.”