Cow pat intercepted at Auckland Airport

  • 10/02/2016

A dried cow pat may not be an ordinary object to be intercepted at the border, but it's exactly what the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has dealt with this summer.

A traveller arriving from Malaysia declared the commercially-packaged cow pat last week to MPI staff at Auckland Airport.

It was brought to New Zealand to burn at a Hindu temple at Otahuhu in south Auckland, MPI says.

"Cow pats are made by mixing fresh cow faeces with hay. We can't them to enter New Zealand as they could contain unwanted seeds, parasites or even plant or animal diseases that could harm the livelihood of farmers and growers," says MPI Auckland Airport manager Dave Sims.

Mr Sims says it is very rare for MPI to intercept cow pats, but they may become more common.

"Cow pats are now a commercial product. There's even a website selling them and some customers want gift wrapping."

MPI have called it "one of the most unusual biosecurity interceptions of the summer so far".