Aussies Go Bananas For Unusual Biosecurity Fines

05/09/2015 7:52 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Chris Ryan via Getty Images
Girl holding bananas as horns in grocery store

A Darwin resident copped a $765 on-the-spot fine for owning a banana plant this week.

Let’s just think about that sentence for a moment.

An officer knocked on the door, found the offending plant and issued a fine, which is lucky really, because courts can issues fines of up to $75,000 for owning a banana plant.

You see, the Northern Territory is battling a banana fungus that’s threatening to destroy the Australian fruit business.

Enter the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program complete with the 24-hour Banana Freckle Hotline.

“Anyone keeping banana plants jeopardises the eradication program for all Territorians,” state co-ordinator Kevin Cooper said in a statement.

However, a banana slip up is the least of your troubles if you’re a ferret fancier in the Territory.

You can be put away for five years and fined $76,500 if caught with one of these contraband cuties because of their propensity to destroy native habitats.


Ferrets are not allowed in the Northern Territory and Queensland. Picture: Associated Press

Ferrets are also illegal in Queensland, and not everyone is happy about it.

Pro-ferret website Oz Ferrett states: “It is a sad fact that in our seemingly free country ferrets are not permitted everywhere.

“The Queensland Ferret Society has been lobbying the Queensland Government for years to legalise ferrets.”

C’mon Queensland, #LegaliseIt. And by ‘it’, we mean ‘ferrets’.

Yet Queensland’s most notorious illegal animal is actually the bunny rabbit.

rabbit and magician

Do you have a permit for that? Picture: Getty Images / John Lund

You can be fined $44,000 for owning a domestic rabbit -- or long-eared guinea pig, as black market sellers apparently call them.

Reluctant to disadvantage Queenslander magicians, however, the state government introduced a special licence for entertainers to have a rabbit. You know, for pulling out of hats.

Down south in Tasmania, it’s illegal to arrive with oysters -- dead or alive.

Why? The entire map of Tassie is oyster herpes free, and they want to keep it that way.

As Biosecurity Tasmania says: “Oysters originating from New South Wales or any area known to be infected with oyster herpes virus may not enter Tasmania”.


Hey lovers, keep your oysters out of Tasmania. Picture: Daniel Day / Getty Images

More On This Topic