Cana­di­ans sent home for try­ing to sneak cat into New Zealand

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -


A Cana­dian woman who au­thor­i­ties say man­aged to hide her 4-year-old pet cat Bella in her hand­bag dur­ing a trans-Pa­cific flight had her va­ca­tion cut short when bor­der agents dis­cov­ered the ruse at a New Zealand air­port. The woman was re­fused en­try into the coun­try and she, her hus­band and the cat were forced to catch the next flight home, Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries spokesman Craig Hughes said Thurs­day. He called the woman’s ac­tions “reck­less and dan­ger­ous.”

New Zealand has strict reg­u­la­tions for im­port­ing pets. Cats and dogs from most ap­proved coun­tries must have an im­planted mi­crochip and be quar­an­tined for a min­i­mum of 10 days af­ter ar­rival. Hughes said the cou­ple, both in their mid- to late-20s, man­aged to con­ceal the cat from the flight crew and other pas­sen­gers dur­ing the 7,000-mile (11,300-kilo­me­ter) flight from Van­cou­ver to Auck­land.

“Ap­par­ently it was a very quiet cat. Very docile,” Hughes said, adding that it may have been drugged to make it drowsy. He said the trav­el­ing cou­ple said they had noth­ing to de­clare upon ar­rival but bor­der agents then de­ter­mined their muddy boots needed in­spect­ing. Agents then moved the cou­ple’s bags to an X-ray ma­chine. —AP

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