Kiwi Passenger Triggers Biosecurity Alert Due to Blood-Stained Clothes, Shoes Upon Touchdown

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By Reissa Su | April 10, 2014 1:59 PM EST

A man who arrived in New Zealand was forced to remove his clothes after airport officials saw blood stains. According to biosecurity officials, the New Zealander told the staff of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) that the blood on his clothes, shoes and baggage came from cow's blood. He had arrived from Namibia and declared he had soiled clothes in his luggage.

The man said he had slaughtered a cow for a lion to eat. Biosecurity officials had refused to let him enter the country unless his blood-stained clothes, shoes and luggage were treated. MPI central and south manager Andrew Spielman said the blood-spattered clothes may be contaminated with a disease which poses a biosecurity risk to New Zealand's primary industries.

The Kiwi passenger gave officials permission to dispose his clothes but he wanted to keep his shoes. He had them treated before he was allowed to keep them.

Mr Spelman said the incident was unusual. He only knows of one similar encounter a few years ago in Wellington airport with another passenger who was a pig farmer with blood stains on his jeans.  

The Kiwi passenger that arrived with blood on his clothes had declared them as a biosecurity risk. He was able to avoid a large fine and did his part in protecting the country's economy and natural environment. The passenger's bags were searched but no objects were found to be biosecurity risks.

Biosecurity systems might need review

Meanwhile, a team of biosecurity officials have been sent to Whangarei following the discovery of a male fruit fly which is one the biggest threats to New Zealand's horticulture industry.  Northland farmers welcomed the idea of fumigating yachts from Australia to prevent the Queensland fruit fly from propagating in the country.

Prime Minister John Key has previously said that New Zealand's biosecurity system may need system checks. Fruit growers have been struggling to control the entry of foreign pests in the last decade. 

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