Chef’s lie ruf­fles feath­ers

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.’’

FAIRFAX NZ

Dis­eases within Hong Kong and Chi­nese poul­try flocks could be dev­as­tat­ing for New Zealand’s poul­try in­dus­try.

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