A 40-year-old man had his visa cancelled after trying to smuggle five exotic bird eggs into Brisbane.
The Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, said the Chinese man, travelling from Taiwan, risked bringing diseases such as avian flu into the country.
“These eggs could have posed a real disease risk to Australian birds, with the potential for diseases to jump species to other native bird populations,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Illegally imported bird eggs can transmit diseases and threaten Australia’s multibillion dollar poultry industries, including avian influenza and Newcastle disease.
“As a result this visitor’s visa has been cancelled and he is ineligible to apply for another for 3 years.
He said it was disappointing some people continue to try and bring in things that posed threats to the Australian economy.
“This passenger contravened the Biosecurity Act 2015 by knowingly failing to declare the eggs on their incoming passenger card.
“The punishment must fit the crime and that’s why we introduced tough legislation to allow Australian Border Force officials to cancel visitor visas when a passenger commits a serious biosecurity breach.
“Australia is lucky to be free from many of the world’s most damaging animal diseases and plant pests that could have a significant environmental and economic impact if they arrived here.”
A Total of 11 visas have been cancelled under new biosecurity-related laws since October 2019.