Canadian woman caught attempting to smuggle cat into New Zealand in handbag

By Daniel Uria  |  Updated Dec. 22, 2016 at 2:34 PM
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A Canadian woman was prevented from entering New Zealand after she attempted to smuggle her cat in a handbag.

New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industry spokesman Craig Hughes told Radio New Zealand the woman had only declared a pair of dirty boots, but authorities at Auckland Airport discovered a cat in her bag.

The woman was traveling with her husband and admitted to having the cat in her bag after staff attempted to x-ray the bag and perform other biosecurity tests.

"Apparently it was a very quiet cat. Very docile," Hughes said, according to ITV.

He speculated the cat may have been given drugs to make it drowsy for the duration of the 7,000 mile flight.

New Zealand has strict restrictions regarding importing pets which require the animals to have an implanted microchip and be kept in quarantined for at least 10 days after entering the country.

The woman's actions were described as "deliberate and very stupid" and ultimately led to her being barred from entering the country and sent back to Canada.

"She had plans to have a nice holiday with her husband in New Zealand," Hughes said. "And her cat."

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