Australia warns travelers to not bring in hitchhiking toads In this undated photo provided by Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, a black-spined toad is seen inside a shoe of a passenger from Indonesia, in Cairns, northeast Australia. (Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources via AP/AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Australia warns travelers to not bring in hitchhiking toads
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Australian quarantine authorities have urged travelers through Asia to avoid bringing in hitchhiking amphibians. The warning comes after a passenger arrived at an airport with a dead Indonesian toad in his shoe.
 
The Department of Agriculture of Water Resources warned travelers to check their luggage and other belongings for biohazards. Toads from Thailand and Indonesia were found recently at three Australian airports. Authorities are confident that all the passengers were unaware they were carrying toads. The passengers were not smuggling wildlife.
 
The department's head of biosecurity, Lyn O'Connor, said a sniffer dog reacted to a shoe that an Australian was wearing as he arrived at Cairns Airport in northeast Australia.
 
The black-spined toad was found by a biosecurity officer. The toad was inside the shoe. The toad had only recently died. It was probably alive when the passenger put the shoe on in Indonesia, O'Connor said in a statement.
 
A live banded bullfrog was found in a passenger's shoe at Perth Airport on Australia's west coast. This was after a flight from Thailand, the department said. Officials could not immediately say whether the passenger was wearing the shoe or had packed it in luggage.
 
A live black-spined toad arrived on a flight from Thailand at Melbourne Airport. The airport is in southeast Australia. The toad was found in a woman's luggage, the department said.
 
The black-spined toad could significantly damage the Australian environment. The toad could carry exotic parasites or disease, O'Connor said.
 
Australia has some of the world's toughest quarantine regulations. These are in a bid to keep pests and diseases from entering its isolated borders. Some pests and diseases could destroy the country's unique wildlife.
 
The strict quarantine policies captured global attention in 2015. That's when Johnny Depp and his then-wife, Amber Heard, were charged. They had illegally brought their pet Yorkshire terriers into Australia. Depp was there to work on a movie.
 
They made an awkward apology video. In it, they warned others about violating the quarantine rules. The couple avoided jail.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What hazards do the toads pose?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (37)
  • justing-kut
    5/16/2017 - 08:31 p.m.

    I don't get how you step in your shoe, crush a toad, get on a plane, ride the plane, get off, and through all that not realize that it's there. Also, why would Johnny need to bring his pet in the first place. That was just dumb on his part.

  • kiearad-bur
    5/16/2017 - 09:21 p.m.

    The toads pose diseases vaccines and more.They are a threat to the community

  • vaneises-
    5/17/2017 - 08:34 a.m.

    The toads could significantly damage the Australian environment and could carry exotic parasites or disease.

  • jacquelynt-
    5/17/2017 - 08:35 a.m.

    They pose a threat the unique ecosystem that Australia has there

  • samanthas-1-ste
    5/17/2017 - 01:06 p.m.

    If the toads go into the environment, their poisonous toxins and potential parasites could harm the other wildlife. It is very important for them not to get out because if they do a lot of animals could die.

  • maylynm-bur
    5/17/2017 - 08:28 p.m.

    A hazard that toads bring are they could carry exotic diseases and harm the unique wildlife in Australia. I wonder when did Australia place is exotic animal law.

  • quinw-kut
    5/18/2017 - 07:58 a.m.

    It is crazy because I never knew a toad could really hurt a environment by carrying exotic parasites or diseases. I also find it funny that some people would not know if there was a toad in their shoe. These toads are really unique that they can survive in a plane.

  • ashleel-kut
    5/18/2017 - 07:58 a.m.

    I agree very highly that passengers should check all their luggage before getting on a plane or traveling in a car. If toads can carry diseases, these diseases can be traveled to another state or even across the world if they hop into your suitcase or shoe. In conclusion, it is very highly requested and agreed that you and others shall check all your luggage before traveling.

  • Tanner C-tar
    5/18/2017 - 09:29 a.m.

    that toad found in the airport was dangerous to the animals of Australia they could harm the animals it was a good idea to put out a warning to the citizens

  • justinw969175-
    5/18/2017 - 11:09 a.m.

    The hazards the toads pose are they have diseases that can kill the wild life. Also, they can reproduce and possibly cause a species of animal to become extinct.

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