Travellers busted with over 100 live fish at Australian airport

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 13, 2020
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Two people have been caught attempting to smuggle 122 live fish into Australia's Melbourne airport, authorities revealed on Thursday.

The fish were concealed in plastic bags filled with water inside the pair's checked baggage, which according to Head of Biosecurity Lyn O'Connell, was searched as the result of an intelligence-led operation.

"Live fish can carry and transmit parasites, bacteria and viruses that could affect our native aquatic wildlife, and our 3 billion Australian (2.01 billion U.S. dollar) fishing and aquaculture industries," O'Connell said.

"They may also be considered a biosecurity pest and be damaging to our unique aquatic environments and ecosystems."

Australian Border Force Regional Commander for Victoria Craig Palmer, explained that relevant departments work hard to stamp out wildlife-related crime, which is not only cruel but threatens the country's unique biodiversity.

"Smuggling live animals in packages is not just illegal, it's cruel and inhumane. Many animals smuggled in this way do not survive," Palmer said.

An investigation into the matter is ongoing and penalties for ignoring Australia's strict wildlife import laws can be harsh, including heavy fines and imprisonment. 

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