An Airline Passenger Was Fined a Ludicrous Amount Over a McDonalds Breakfast

They take biosecurity seriously down under.

A traveler from Bali arrived at Australia’s Darwin International Airport last week to an unfortunate welcome: a $1,874 USD fine.

After failing to declare the egg and beef sausage McMuffins, ham croissant, and other “risk items” tucked away in their backpack, the airport’s new biosecurity detector dog, Zinta, sniffed out the tasty customs violation, according to a release from the Australian minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

“This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has,” Minister Murray Watt said, pointing out that the fee is twice as expensive as the passenger’s airfare was. “…But I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey Australia’s strict biosecurity measures, and recent detections show you will be caught.”

Zinta was recently stationed at the airport as part of Australia’s $14 million “tough new biosecurity defenses,” which include biosecurity dogs at Darwin and Cairns airports, sanitation foot mats at all international airports, support on the ground for Indonesia and other neighboring countries, and covers post offices, too.

The ministry reports that the meat will be tested for foot and mouth disease (FMD) before being destroyed. “Australia is FMD-free, and we want it to stay that way,” Watt said.

For failing to declare the high biosecurity risk contraband and for providing misleading documentation, the passenger received a 12-unit infringement notice. According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia, each penalty unit in an infringement is worth $222 Australian dollars.

That’s one pricy brekky! Let this serve as a warning to all of us that even your airport snacks could cost you.

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