A Sting in the Tail - But Hitchhikers Fail!

18 February 2004

Quarantine officers in Brisbane this week intercepted two live scorpions from a container of furniture from Indonesia.

Workers at a Brisbane bond store found the feisty critters, and immediately called AQIS officers to the scene. 

AQIS senior entomologist Bill Crowe [CORRECT] said it was an important interception because the scorpions are of a kind we don’t have in Australia.

“These scorpions are common in Southeast Asia and a popular species for trade as an exotic pet,” Bill says, “and while they’re not lethal, they can inflict a very painful sting.

 “The consignment of furniture was something we wouldn’t usually need to inspect because it should have already been fumigated overseas to Australian standards — so it’s great that the workers were so vigilant in calling us straight away,” Bill says.

“It proves that our quarantine awareness program, to educate the community and industry, is working well. We need everyone to be alert to quarantine risks and to help AQIS protect Australia from exotic pests and diseases.”

The container has been sealed and will be fumigated again by a quarantine approved fumigator in Brisbane.

Media inquiries:  Jacinda Geritz DAFF Media +61 2 6272 3232