A SHARP nosed hound named Izzy stopped the arrival of 10 kilos of undeclared meat and fruit at Sydney Airport, helping protect Australia’s lucrative agricultural export sector.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Izzy is being hailed a hero after sniffing out the meat and fruit in a passenger’s luggage.
Head of Biosecurity Lyn O’Connell praised Izzy’s efforts.
“Izzy was doing some routine sniffing when she responded to a passenger’s bag and our biosecurity officers soon found out what had caught her nose,” Ms O’Connell said.
She said failing to declare items such as meat and fruit were a threat to Australia as they could bring in diseases and pests.
Meat in particular can carry foot and mouth disease and African swine fever, diseases that would cost the Australian economy billions and potentially take more than a decade to eradicate.
Ms O’Connell said the final collection of detected food was considerable.
“They found almost eight kilos of nashi pears, two kilos of oranges, 325 grams of chicken meat and more than two kilos of pork products that included pig meat, sausages and trotters,” she said.
Illegally imported, fresh fruit, like that found in the passenger’s bags, can harbour diseases and pests like the fruit fly and citrus canker that would cause severe damage to the horticulture industries.
“Our dogs do a great job sniffing out potential risk items, but every passenger that travels to Australia has an obligation to follow our conditions,” Ms O’Connell said.
Just recently, FMD and ASF were found in samples of intercepted undeclared meat products in Australia’s airports and mail centres, putting biosecurity high on the country’s list of priorities.
“There is no excuse if you bring these or other biosecurity risk items to Australia,” Ms O’Connell said.
“Either leave them at home, or don’t be sorry and just declare them.”
The passenger biosecurity dog Izzy intercepted had their undeclared meat and fruit products destroyed and were issued an infringement notice.