Photo Credit: C. Cagnin
An Expensive McDonalds Meal: Undeclared McMuffins Leave Australia Traveler With $1,874 Fine
A traveler has received a hefty fine after trying to bring in two egg and sausage McMuffins to Australia. The unnamed traveler arriving from Bali to Australia didn’t declare the McMuffins resulting in an almost $2,000 USD fine.
Biosecurity detector dog Zinta sniffed out the egg-and-meat contraband at Darwin Airport, Australia. “This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has,” said Australian agriculture minister Murray Watt.
Officials ordered a 2,664 Australian dollar fine ($1,874) because Australia has strict biosecurity laws to protect the country’s agriculture industry. Days previous, the country brought in new biosecurity laws to protect against an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD). There has been an outbreak in Indonesia, including Bali, which is a popular tourist spot for travelers heading to Australia.
The most expensive McMuffins
“This fine is twice the cost of an airfare to Bali, but I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey Australia’s strict biosecurity measures, and recent detections show you will be caught,” said Murray Watt.
Along with the two McMuffin sandwiches, the traveler also had a ham croissant. A statement confirmed that the passenger had “a 12-unit infringement notice for failing to declare potential high biosecurity risk items and providing a false and misleading document.” Officials seized and tested the food for FMD before destroying it all.
Travelers to Australia can expect stricter policies with the outbreak of FMD. While harmless to humans, the disease can be detrimental to livestock. It causes blisters and lesions on the mouths and feet of cloven-hooved animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and camels. There are several ways to transport FMD. This includes animals, in meat and dairy products, on the clothing, footwear, or even luggage. Any contact with infected animals proves to be a risk for contamination.
“The impacts on farmers if foot and mouth gets in are too gut-wrenching to even contemplate,” Fiona Simson, president of the National Farmers’ Federation told CNN.