Rakhi festival highlights the importance of biosecurity

23 July 2012

The Indian Rakhi festival, to be celebrated on 2 August, is one of the busiest periods in the calendar year for DAFF Biosecurity.

The festival celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters through the exchange of traditional gifts and is widely celebrated in Australia, with tens of thousands of festival gifts received through the post each year.

Overseas family and friends can often send or bring Rakhi gifts to Australia that can pose a biosecurity risk and be harmful to our unique environment.

First Assistant Secretary of DAFF Biosecurity Border Compliance, Tim Chapman, said it was important for people to be aware of Australia’s biosecurity conditions when sending or receiving Rakhi gifts.

“By spreading awareness of Australia’s biosecurity conditions and advising overseas family and friends, there is less chance of gifts being delayed or intercepted at the border,” Mr Chapman said.

“This will also ensure that those celebrating this significant event will be playing their part in managing risks to Australia’s biosecurity.”

Items that are considered a biosecurity risk include:

  • Rakhi threads made with seeds or flowers
  • traditional Indian sweets such as barfi, mysore pak, gulab jamun, rasgulla, pedas, soan-papdi, or sweets made with mithai
  • dried fruits

Safe items that family and friends can send during this festive period include cotton Rakhi threads with plastic, fabric, gold or silver beads and coins, personalised photo items and artificial flowers.

For more information