Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | November 26, 2009

Cane toads in Queenstown

Unbelievable. With all the problems NZ has with the introduced pests of rabbits, possums and plants like gorse, it is inconceivable that a poisonous cane toad should be able to hop its way into Queenstown this week.

According to a story on this morning, a lady had just flown in from Cairns and was at a briefing before walking the Milford Track when the toad hopped out of her bag.

People recognised what it was and captured it (luckily a staff guide worked part time for MAF). The staff member killed the toad by popping it in a freezer.

The story said:

A MAF biosecurity spokeswoman confirmed the woman carrying the toad had arrived in Queenstown on a flight from Sydney on Tuesday. She declared her boots on her arrival card and was taken to a bench where they were cleaned with detergent. “The boots had socks stuffed in them, the toad was possibly inside the boots. “We’ve tipped the boots, looked at them, cleaned them and returned them to the passenger.” The spokeswoman said the toad would probably not have survived the South Island climate if it had escaped into the wild.

Probably would not have survived?

Excuse my French but bl**dy hell. Can you imagine what NZ would be like with a hybrid poisonous cane toads? Last year it was red fire ants (nasty nasty things).

Think of all those nasties that could not only affect our agriculture and horticulture industries (or destroy) but make life very unpleasant.

I know MAF and Biosecurity staff personally do their best to stop these things coming in. But should there be as many avenues? We already have a huge coastline should we be tempting fate with dozens of international airports as well?





  1. A release today from the Minister of Biosecurity (copy and paste):

    Instant Biosecurity Fine Raised to $400

    The instant biosecurity fine is to be doubled to $400 after the Biosecurity Amendment Bill passed its final reading in Parliament last night.

    “The bill represents a major step towards improving border processing, while cracking down on travellers who deliberately flout our biosecurity laws,” Biosecurity Minister David Carter said.

    “This is an important change to biosecurity at our border and sends a clear message about how seriously the Government takes New Zealand’s biosecurity protection.

    “Travellers not declaring or disposing of products such as fruit and meat upon arrival pose a significant threat to New Zealand’s economic, environmental, and social well-being.

    “The doubling of the instant fine for not making such a declaration is an appropriate reflection of the seriousness of this offence, and will increase awareness of New Zealand’s strict biosecurity measures.

  2. I loved your story…lol. Thanks for sharing!

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