Passenger brings a kilo of snake meat into country

A woman travelling from Vietnam brought a kilogram of dried snake meat and 'unidentifiable fish' into the country. Photo / Thinkstock
A woman travelling from Vietnam brought a kilogram of dried snake meat and 'unidentifiable fish' into the country. Photo / Thinkstock

A kilogram of snake meat brought into Auckland Airport by a woman travelling from Vietnam has surprised border staff.

The passenger, who was travelling with her daughter, declared the dried snake meat along with some "unidentifiable fish" to a quarantine inspector at Auckland Airport.

The meat had been bought at a local market in Vietnam.

"The snake meat smelt a bit like dried fish. It wasn't very pleasant," said Ministry for Primary Industries manager Craig Hughes, who said it was one of the most unusual border interceptions this summer.

The pair spoke no English but understood their obligation to declare food items and were happy to hand over the meat to be destroyed, he said.

"We're clearly having some success with getting foreign travellers to understand they have to declare or depose goods that pose a biosecurity risk before they enter the country."

The meat could have contained diseases that would be harmful to New Zealand's agriculture sector, said Mr Hughes.

- APNZ

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