Aussies Go Bananas For Unusual Biosecurity Fines

05/09/2015 7:52 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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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.

ferret

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”.

oysters

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

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