The Department of Agriculture makes the news again.
Having ensured that no Nicobar Pigeon without the appropriate paperwork becomes a permanent resident they have incinerated a couple of green blobs.
Australian customs officials destroyed two irreplaceable plant specimens that were being loaned to scientists by international institutions, prompting one of the institutions to suspend all transfers to Australian scientists.
France’s National Museum of Natural History and New Zealand’s Landcare Research Allan Herbarium had sent the samples, which dated back to the 19th century, to help with Australian research, but they were intercepted by customs officers due to inaccurate paperwork …
… Neither the French or New Zealand institutions were informed of the decision to destroy their lichen, nor were the Australian scientists who were due to receive the samples. Normally a sender or recipient would be informed if there was a threat to destroy imported items.
Michelle Waycott, a professor of plant systematic at the University of Adelaide and chairwoman of the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, said the specimens were to be used to determine whether new plant species had been discovered in Australia.
“These specimens are also the last remaining evidence that they were present in a particular location,” Professor Waycott said.
Presumably they were in separate packages coming from two different senders. Who was it that said “To lose one husband is unfortunate, to lose two is careless“?