Attempt to smuggle ostrich eggs into NZ

Last updated 13:14 27/11/2012
Ostrich eggs

BIG DEAL: The ostrich eggs discovered in a passenger's luggage at Auckland Airport.

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A South African woman has been stopped at Auckland Airport with two whole ostrich eggs in her luggage.

A quarantine inspector found the undeclared eggs during a bag search after the woman arrived from Melbourne.

The two whole eggs with yolk each weighed about 1.5kg. They were found loosely wrapped in newspaper.

The woman was fined $400 and will face increased scrutiny by biosecurity officials on further flights to New Zealand, Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman Steve Gay said.

He said the eggs posed a high biosecurity risk to New Zealand.

"There was the chance they could be carrying avian diseases. And we can't write off the idea that the eggs were going to be used for breeding.

"It beggars belief that the passenger could possibly forget to declare something so obvious in size and so risky for our primary sector and environment.

"Air passengers pass more than 30 signs asking them to declare or dispose risk items before they even speak to a quarantine inspector."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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