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Tuesday 3 October 2023 Dublin: 16°C
# Snakes on a Plane
Australia halts cargo of snakes, vipers and tarantulas labelled as '2 pair shoes'
Australia’s Border Force cleared things up: “Things you can post to Australia…”

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AUSTRALIAN AUTHORITIES INTERCEPTED a parcel that contained snakes, tarantulas and scorpions, which were labelled as ’2 pair shoes’.

Australian Border Force officers in Melbourne x-rayed an international mail consignment from Northern Europe in March and spotted the reptiles.

They then consulted biosecurity staff from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

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Six venomous vipers and two of what is believed to be the world’s third-largest tarantula, with 24 creatures in total:

  • Three ball pythons, also known as royal pythons
  • Two hognose snakes
  • Six vipers, identified as Wagler’s temple vipers
  • Two Colombian giant tarantulas
  • Five Mexican redknee tarantulas
  • Two Brazilian salmon pink tarantulas
  • Four Asian forest scorpions.

Australian Border Force Regional Commander Victoria, James Watson, said the detection was a great example of Australia’s border security processes: “It just goes to show you no two days are the same for our officers”.

We are always finding new and unusual things that people are trying to smuggle into the country.

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The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ Deputy Secretary responsible for biosecurity, Lyn O’Connell, said Australia has strict rules governing how animals can be brought into the country.

“This detection appears to be a clear attempt to get around the rules that are in place to protect us all,” O’Connell said.

No spider is a match for our biosecurity web, we get our tails up when there are scorpions in the mail and if you try to send exotic snakes—beware if we find intentional non-compliance, we bite back with the full force of the law.

Australia’s Border Force summed it up nicely:

Things you can post to Australia:
Things you don’t post to Australia:
Giant tarantulas

Read: Farmer’s body discovered inside giant python in Indonesia

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