Sunday, 1 March 2009

Sniffer Dogs Keep Up The Fight Against Apple Scrumpers

I'm not keen on dogs, always been a bit scared of them.  Probably down to some particularly challenging paper rounds I undertook on the mean streets of Timperley.

So when we arrive in Cairns I'm a little uncomfortable to be asked to join a single line of fellow passengers who are to be "snifffed".  I immediately let my imagination invent a beast from the depths of my darkest fears, part rabid wolf, part Greater Manchester Police drug squad officer.

Instead, we are to be "sniffed" by a cute little puppy (let's call him Bouncer) wearing a very smart purple dog jacket.  Relieved that the Drug-Wolf has not materialised, I allow my guard to fall.  But wait... Bouncer's on to something... it's Justine's rucksack... he knows there's something in there... he senses that she's carrying... APPLES!

The Australian authorities really don't want you to bring anything in to their county which might tip the ecological scales one way or the other, be it animals, fruit and veg, or even dirt on your shoes.  So if your bag had been used to carry a couple of apples (now eaten), Bouncer will come down on you like a tonne of bricks.  The quarantine people were all very friendly and polite, but as they hunted (without success) for illicit orchard-ware in our baggage, you sensed that they felt they were closing in on one of the world's most notorious Cider Barons.

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