Operation Avoca nets 38 tonnes of biosecurity risks

Biosecurity officers have executed one of Australia’s largest single biosecurity detections, during a significant find in Sydney.

Seven shipping containers’ worth of goods, including turtle meat, frog meat, pork, beef, avian products and raw prawns, have been intercepted as part of Operation Avoca, which netted 116 different types of products, weighing a combined total of around 38 tonnes.

The major discovery has prevented significant risks to Australian biosecurity.

The investigation remains ongoing, and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry will continue to collaborate with Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and all other relevant government agencies throughout the next phase of the investigation.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt said the operation reflected the Albanese Government’s determination to keep exotic pests and diseases out of Australia.

“This is a huge detection by Biosecurity Officers from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – we are talking about 38 tonnes of goods which could be carrying diseases that could have had catastrophic consequences to our agricultural sector,” Minister Watt said.

“We often see smaller quantities of risk products brought in through parcels in the mail or carried by incoming passengers, and officers work extremely hard to stamp out these threats. However, a discovery of this size and nature is a stark reminder of what’s at stake if we don’t continue to fiercely protect our precious biosecurity. 

“Biosecurity is critical - our biosecurity officers are on the front line of defence, which is why we allocated $134 million in funding in the last budget to bolster Australia’s biosecurity system.”

“There are severe penalties for breaching the Biosecurity Act. You could face 10 years imprisonment and fines of up to $1,375,000 for an individual, or $6,875,000 for a company".

Suspicious activity can be reported to Biosecurity Hotline 1800 798 636 or REDLINE 1800 803 006.

Images: Link here.