Blood on clothes from lion's dinner

Last updated 12:22 09/04/2014

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A passenger arriving at Wellington Airport with blood-splattered clothes alarmed officials.

The offending shoes and clothing were in his baggage, and the traveller brought the items to the attention of biosecurity officers when he arrived last month.

He said the blood was from a cow he had killed in Namibia to be fed to a lion, Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman Andrew Spelman said.

Such a declaration was rare, Spelman said. "The only other similar incident I know from the last few years is when a pig farmer arrived at Wellington with some blood on his jeans."

The safari tourist was given the choice to toss the clothing, or have it treated. He elected to have just his shoes treated and threw out the rest.

"We weren't going to let the soiled clothing into the country unless it was treated. The biosecurity risk of it containing a disease that could damage New Zealand's primary industries was too great."

By telling officials about the bloodied items, the man saved himself a "hefty" fine, he said.

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- The Dominion Post

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