Biosecurity officers at Perth Airport recently uncovered a haul of biosecurity risks after x-raying an abandoned bag that had made its way here from South Africa, as reported in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture’s October 2019 Biosecurity Matters Newsletter.

The bag contained rats skewered on wooden sticks, dried unidentified plant material with insects, live plant material, kola nuts, rawhide fans and other suspect material wrapped in paper.

The plant material presents a clear danger to our delicate ecosystem. Soil, insects and pathogens have the potential to cause serious damage to our native flora and fauna. Panama Disease Tropical Race 4, Xylella, and citrus canker are plant diseases that all have the capacity to change the landscape of Australian horticulture and agriculture.

Animal products, like rawhide and fur, must be properly tanned and treated before entering Australia. Another important reason why we impose strict conditions for these products is to ensure they aren’t from an endangered species.

The items were all destroyed.

You can read this story and others from the ‘Biosecurity Matters’ newsletter here.