The two whole eggs with yolk each weighed around 1.5 kilograms. They were found loosely wrapped in newspaper.
The passenger was fined $400 and will face increased scrutiny by biosecurity officials if they make further flights to New Zealand, says team manager Steve Gay.
He says the eggs posed a high biosecurity risk to New Zealand. “There was the chance they could be carrying avian diseases. And we can’t write off the idea that the eggs were going to be used for breeding.”
“It beggars belief that the passenger could possibly forget to declare something so obvious in size and so risky for our primary sector and environment.
“Air passengers pass more than 30 signs asking them to declare or dispose risk items before they even speak to a quarantine inspector.”
Accidents do happen, even with farmers who ought to understand the necessity for strict border controls on plant and animal products.
A friend forgot about an apple in her bag when she returned from Europe, another didn’t know his young daughter had a piece of fruit in her backpack.
But neither I forgot nor I didn’t know would be a believable explanation for bringing in a couple of ostrich eggs weighing about three kilos in total.
Ostrich farming was popular a few years ago.
I’m not sure if any farms are still operating but whether or not they are, strict quarantine controls will apply to both eggs and birds.
Ostriches don’t fly anywhere and their eggs are definitely not supposed to fly into New Zealand unannounced.