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21 March 2000
A snake was found today in a shipping container being unloaded in a warehouse in Sockburn, Christchurch. The snake was found in a container of stoneware and onyx tables from Indonesia being unpacked at an importer’s warehouse. It has yet to be identified.
The snake remains in the container that has been resealed. The container and contents will be fumigated tonight. The snake will be removed and identified after fumigation tomorrow. Other containers from Indonesia on the same vessel are currently being checked.
The finding of a second snake in New Zealand within two weeks is unprecedented.
There are no links between the two incidents.
Public notification of such incidents helps MAF to manage biosecurity risks. MAF operates a 24hr free phone for exotic disease and pest emergencies (0800 809 966).
For further information contact:
Derek Belton, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Programme Manager, Surveillance and Disease Response, ph: 04 474 4155.