Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Go Santa, but fumigate your sleigh

Santa may have a problem when he heads to Australia Wednesday evening.

Well, actually it would be Wednesday morning (our time) or something like that because of the time difference and the International Date line, so it would probably be tonight (?) our time.

Okay, well now I'm just really confused, but I'm sure Santa has it all figured out. Also its summertime in Australia to make this all the more confusing.

Santa faces quarantine hurdle
Cathy Alexander Brisbane Times

Santa has one more hurdle to clear before he delivers his presents on Wednesday night - quarantine.

Australian authorities have warned they will be searching all incoming packages for banned Christmas wares, including mistletoe, straw decorations, and pine cones.

Christmas cake containing suet or uncooked fruit or nuts will also be turned back at the border by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS).

AQIS executive director Rob Delane said illegal Christmas goodies could be a disaster.

"Home-cooked treats could spread pests and diseases; seeds or pinecones could propagate or carry pests that could damage Australia's bushland or plantation forests," he said.

And Santa could be in big trouble if he tries to sneak something past the authorities - fines up to $60,000 can apply.

Mr Delane urged people to pass the quarantine message on to over-zealous family and friends overseas who might be thinking of sending a Christmas package.