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Australia Destroys Rare Pressed Flower Collection

Posted on 12st May 2017

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The Australian Government is working hard to preserve their country's reputation as being the worst in the world on environmental issues. This BBC story describes how a collection of irreplaceable and valuable pressed flowers, loaned from France, was incinerated because of a problem with the paperwork.

I fully understand that Australia (New Zealand too) needs to be careful about importing foreign species. Australia has huge problems with invasive species (some of which were introduced deliberately, in some cases in attempts to control other pests): Cane Toads, Goats, Rabbits, Red Foxes, etc. (more information about invasive species in Australia here). Clearly controls are needed. In this case, however:

  • The items in question were requested by Australia,
  • The specimens were dead, and unlikely to escape into the wild,
  • The collection is very valuable, and irreplaceable, so if they really didn't want them coming (temporarily) into Australia, the responsible thing to do would have been to simply send them back.