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Harbin Customs seizes smuggled live ants from Australia

Updated : 2019-06-03

By ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Harbin Customs seized a package from Australia containing smuggled live ants on May 26, the first case of its type in northeastern Heilongjiang province, according to information released by the Heilongjiang authorities.

Two ants and around 10 ant eggs were hidden in two test tubes and stored using professional packaging techniques.

Officials identified one 3-centimeter long ant and another 2.5 cm specimen as being native to Australia. The former is commonly known as a “bull ant” and the latter is called an “inch ant”, and both have toxic stingers.

According to the Law of People’s Republic of China on the Entry and Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine, it is prohibited to internally mail live insects. If it is necessary to import live insects for scientific research, the formalities for the examination and approval of quarantine shall be handled in advance.

Officials said illegally imported live ants may pose a great threat to China's ecological security, in addition to carrying a variety of germs.

The seized live ants and eggs were intercepted and then destroyed by Harbin Customs.


Two live ants from Australia are hidden in test tubes. They were seized by Harbin Customs on May 26. [Photo/chinanews.com]


A live ant from Australia stored in a test tube is seized by Harbin Customs on May 26. [Photo/chinanews.com]


An officer from Harbin Customs shows the two seized living ants on May 26. [Photo/chinanews.com]

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