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1 May 2001
An American tourist has been fined $850 plus costs for fishing beef jerky, which had been confiscated from him, out of a Quarantine Bin at Auckland International Airport in March.
He appeared before Judge MacAskill at the Dunedin District Court yesterday.
On March 15 this year Joshua Lorin Gleiner arrived at Auckland International Airport from Los Angeles. He completed and signed his New Zealand Passenger Arrival card declaring he had food, animal products, plant products and other items including camping equipment with him.
People arriving in New Zealand are asked to specifically declare any agricultural goods in their possession. Unauthorised goods are undeclared risk goods, which have gone beyond a transitional facility or Biosecurity Control area without the permission of a Quarantine Officer.
At the arrivals hall (before the Biosecurity Control area), Gleiner was found by a quarantine detector dog team to have beef jerky in his bag. It was wrapped in white paper. Only commercially packaged beef jerky can be brought into New Zealand from the United States. In this case the jerky was prohibited and was taken off him and placed in a Quarantine Bin in the arrivals area.
Gleiner was directed to the search bench for further inspection of the other goods he had brought with him. While this occurred the Quarantine Bin near the baggage carousel was checked. The beef jerky had been removed.
The Quarantine Officer who initially confiscated the beef jerky approached the inspection area and questioned Gleiner. Gleiner denied having the jerky but it was located in his jacket. He admitted it was the same beef jerky that had been taken off him in the arrivals hall and that he had retrieved it from the Quarantine Bin. "It was for my girlfriend", he said.
Gleiner described the product as "dried beef - home made". He admitted that it had been explained to him that it was prohibited and that it had to be destroyed. Gleiner was fined $850, $130 costs and $250 solicitors fees.
All imports of meat or products containing meat must have prior clearance by MAF. This is necessary to protect against the introduction of unwanted pests and animal disease that could seriously affect New Zealand's livestock industry. An outbreak of foot and mouth would result in our overseas trading partners instigating an immediate ban on imports of New Zealand animals and animal products. This would have a disastrous effect on the New Zealand economy, which in 1999 earned $2830 Million from export commodities.
For further information contact:
Jacqui Pate, Senior Investigating Solicitor, MAF Enforcement Unit or
Gita Parsot, MAF Communications