Be aware to be wary of the labeling of "furry" products

CHOICE has just put up an article about how real fur has been sold as faux fur in Australia. Disturbing for many reasons not least about those who wish to avoid using animal products as part of their apparel may in fact be getting exactly the opposite. False labeling, use of dog and cat fur (illegal in Australia) are among the concerns raised in the following article:


So biosecurity is not working then? Yet another breakdown in our border security.


More precisely a failure of the Dept of Agriculture.

The penalties for deliberately making a false or misleading declaration as an incoming passenger are significant. How severe are the penalties for commercial quantities or container loads falsely declared, and has any action arisen from the investigations to date?


An allied question is how severe are the penalties for lax oversight? No need to answer. An agency can only do what it is funded and staffed and trained to do. Funding is the underpinning of staffing and training.

Australian government is always happy to trust the honesty of any business; and almost any importer unless advised to be on the watch by a foreign collaborator. It is the ‘economical approach’.


Thank you @mark_m, I was aware the DoA was the responsible Department. I didn’t want to blame them as they have been reduced to a husk of their former selves by Machinery of Government changes and funding cuts.

Constant withdrawal of funding on top of enforced ‘efficiency dividends’. Departments, or more specifically areas of Departments which the Government doesn’t like are cut until they are no longer able to function. Then they say… it’s not functioning, so it is obviouslly not needed. Gone. An example of this was anything to do with the Environment that used to reside with DoA.

The only exception to this trend is when a catastrophy/ies occur(s). Then of course the Government blames the Department’s handling, even though it was the Government that emasculated the responsible area. Only then does the Government announce additional funding. Needless to say, frequently the funding does not actualize.

Yes @PhilT the LNP believes that the market will self regulate, and is averse to imposing any restrictions on free trade. Penalties are generally petty cash affairs that have no punitive influence.


I suspect you knew and were just being polite. With border security I initially thought of a different CoA dept and prominent MP. I went looking for clarification and was not that surprised the Dept of Agriculture has the authority explicitly, assuming all other import requirements are met. As with Cruise ships unloading Covid positive passengers in Sydney the real answer is more a hydra with responsibilities distributed across a number of departments.

Eventually the chickens need to come home to roost. The ability or inability of the DoA to effectively pursue it’s remit has relevance to both consumer outcomes as well as protecting agriculture and our environment.

Leaving it for consumers after the fact to try and weed out illegal or falsely identified products is not the solution. We’ve a growing list of failures including several species of invasive ants, as well as Asian Honey Bees carrying one of two types of Verroa mite active in Far North Qld.


The fight to eradicate the Varroa mite in Australia has been given up and now a plan to only “manage” the pest will be put in place.


The glass is half full view.

Fortunately, research has shown that the Varroa Mite cannot attack Australian native bees directly, as native bees have a very different biology from European honeybees.

Read more.

The Varroa Mite, if it spreads, would drastically reduce the number of feral European honeybee nests in the bush. This would reduce competition for nectar and pollen resources in the bush, which should benefit some native bee populations.

Not good news for honey production, although the bee keepers suggest it will be more expensive to produce than cause a significant loss of production. Noted chemical controls are one strategy used/available to reduce mite infections in European honey bee colonies.

Less emphasis has been made of improving conditions to encourage native bees, and other native pollinators to fill more of the gaps.