Quarantine Rules Are There To Protect Agriculture Industry

Quarantine Rules Are There To Protect Agriculture Industry

Western Australia Minister for Agriculture & Food Terry Redman

Airport Dogs Sniffing Out Unwanted Christmas Guests

Victor P Taffa

Quarantine Dogs will be on patrol at Perth Domestic Airport this Christmas to ensure travellers do not introduce any unwelcome guests into Western Australia.

Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman said detector dogs and their handlers would be checking thousands of incoming passengers from interstate flights and their luggage for potential biosecurity threats.

“WA Quarantine Inspectors are particularly busy at this time of year, checking incoming packages during the Christmas rush, and monitoring travellers at road checkpoints and WA airports during the summer holiday period.” Mr. Redman said.

“These passive-response dogs use their acute senses of smell to detect a target odour and then sit beside it to indicate a find.  Each dog can inspect up to 3,000 passengers per day.”

“More than 2.5 Million Passengers have arrived at the Perth and Regional Airports this year on 16,700 flights, with 3,000 kg of risk material seized and 11,000 kg placed in amnesty bins.”

The Minister said West Australians had an important role in protecting the State’s environment and agriculture by adhering to Quarantine Rules.

“Quarantine Rules are not there to make life difficult they serve an important purpose in protecting the State’s valuable agriculture sector, environment and outdoors lifestyle.” Mr. Redman said.

“WA is free of many pests and diseases which can be found elsewhere in Australia and our quarantine team play a crucial role in identifying food, animals or plant material that could pose a biosecurity risk.”

The State Government allocated $37 Million this financial year on biosecurity, border quarantine, surveillance and control work to safeguard WA from exotic pests and diseases.

Incoming travellers are asked to declare all foodstuffs including fruit, vegetables, honey and seeds because of the risk of introducing serious biological threats which may be carried on these products.

Members of the public can help keep WA free of pests and diseases by voluntarily dumping prohibited food items in amnesty bins at checkpoints and Domestic or Regional Airports.