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Wednesday 23 August 2017

Travellers warned not to bring in hitch-hiking toads

A black-spined toad inside a shoe of a passenger from Indonesia (Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources/AP)
A black-spined toad inside a shoe of a passenger from Indonesia (Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources/AP)

Quarantine authorities in Australia have urged travellers through Asia to avoid bringing in hitch-hiking amphibians, after a passenger arrived at an airport with a dead Indonesian toad in his shoe.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources issued the warning on Thursday for travellers to check their luggage and other belongings for biohazards, after toads from Thailand and Indonesia were found recently at three Australian airports.

The department's head of biosecurity, Lyn O'Connor, said a sniffer dog reacted to a shoe that an Australian was wearing as he arrived at Cairns Airport in north-east Australia.

She said the black-spined toad found by a biosecurity officer inside the shoe had only recently died and was probably alive when the passenger put the shoe on in Indonesia.

AP

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