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Animal remains prompt biosecurity warning

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017

Gory jewellery made from "crow and squirrel legs" with "bones sticking out" detected by a biosecurity beagle has prompted fresh warnings from authorities.

Ministry of Primary Industries hound Clawson sniffed out the package from Britain while it was on Auckland's International Mail Centre conveyor belt.

"The items posed severe biosecurity risk to New Zealand," MPI detection technology manager Brett Hickman said.

"The untreated [crow] feathers and flesh could have contained diseases such as avian flu, or unwanted hitchhikers like ticks or mites."

Mr Hickman said his team sometimes found animal hides that were commercially treated, but to find animal remains so fresh, with the bone exposed, was very rare.

MPI will now hold onto the package unless the recipient pays to treat it within 28 days.

"If we don't hear anything, it will be destroyed," Mr Hickman said.

He said he hoped the seizure would help remind people to read up on New Zealand's strict biosecurity rules.

Detector dog Clawson has been working for the MPI for three years.

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