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Canadian cat smuggler sent home

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/12/2016

A Canadian woman has been kicked out of the country after trying to smuggle her cat in a handbag through Auckland International Airport.

The woman arrived on a flight from Vancouver on Wednesday and only declared a pair of dirty boots to biosecurity officials, the Ministry for Primary Industries says.

"She was very reluctant to have the hand bag x-rayed, saying it had already been checked by our quarantine officers," said the ministry's Craig Hughes.

"She only revealed the cat after we insisted the bag will have to undergo further biosecurity checks."

The woman claimed she had alerted officials about the cat when she bought her ticket.

"We believe this was a deliberate and very stupid attempt at smuggling. The passenger clearly decided those rules didn't apply to her," Mr Hughes said.

The woman was refused entry to the country and she and her cat were forced to board the next available flight back to Canada.

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