Auckland chef pays price for bringing in dried duck kidneys

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An attempt to bring dried duck kidneys into the country by making a false declaration on his passenger arrival card has cost an Auckland chef close to $4,000.

Fifty-two-year-old Rutian Ou lied to quarantine officers about the contents of 2 packets of food in his luggage when he returned to New Zealand from Hong Kong in July last year.

He was fined $3,700 plus court costs when he appeared in the Manukau District Court last week.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) spokesman, Craig Hughes, says the man told officers the packets contained shellfish but later admitted the contents were duck.

"When we interviewed him, he said he knew the product was duck meat but said it was seafood because he wanted to keep it. He said he wanted to give the duck meat to his son.

"Duck kidneys from overseas are a strictly prohibited product. The biosecurity risks associated with duck meat and duck meat products are serious.

"There are a number of diseases prevalent within the Hong Kong/Chinese chicken stocks such as Newcastle disease and avian influenza which are not present in New Zealand.

"If these entered the country, it would cause considerable mortality and economic cost to the poultry industry. It would also put New Zealand's native bird biodiversity at risk.

"This sort of offending is very serious. The laws relating to biosecurity should be vigorously applied and complied with for various reasons. This man knowingly and recklessly displayed a lack of regard for our biosecurity. These sorts of actions won't be tolerated."

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