Chef’s lie ruffles feathers
Border officials have quacked the case of an Auckland chef’s fishy luggage.
Rutian Ou, 52, lied to quarantine officers about two packets of food in his luggage when he returned to New Zealand from Hong Kong in July 2016. He told officers the packets contained shellfish, but later admitted the contents were dried duck kidneys, Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman Craig Hughes said.
Ou appeared in the Manukau District Court in June, where he was fined $3700, plus court costs, for making a false declaration on his passenger arrival card.
Hughes said Ou knew the product was duck meat, but told officials it was seafood because he wanted to keep it.
‘‘He said he wanted to give the duck meat to his son,’’ Hughes said.
‘‘Duck kidneys from overseas are a strictly prohibited product. The biosecurity risks associated with duck meat and duck meat products are serious.’’
There were a ‘‘number of diseases’’ prevalent within Hong Kong and Chinese poultry flocks, such as Newcastle disease and avian flu, which were not present in New Zealand, Hughes said.
‘‘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.’’
Diseases within Hong Kong and Chinese poultry flocks could be devastating for New Zealand’s poultry industry.