Thursday, December 15, 2005

What's the going rate for hamsters in New Zealand? 

Go ahead, take a guess.

Nope, higher.

Nope, still higher:

An arrest warrant was issued today for a woman who smuggled a hamster named Eric into New Zealand in a sock.

The 43-year-old Wellington sickness beneficiary, who has interim name suppression, pleaded guilty last month to possessing unauthorised goods and was due to be sentenced in Wellington District Court today but she failed to turn up.

The charge under the Biosecurity Act 1993 carries a maximum penalty of five years and a fine of up to $100,000.
First of all, who knew New Zealand was so far out ahead in the Global War On Terror? By 1993 they already had their own Biosecurity Act! Clearly it's paying dividends too, keeping their land safe from the scourge of Al-Qaeda hamsters.

Then there is that "interim name suppression." What the heck is that? I can't tell if it's a right to anonymity in the criminal justice system or a neurological disorder. More likely it has to do with taking insane risks to secure the company of little rodents. But I'm sure it was worth it.

And why is it such a big deal to bring a hamster into New Zealand?

Their import is banned in Australia and New Zealand where the climate is warm and dry in parts - perfect for golden hamsters!
Funny, I remember it being warm and dry in Los Angeles, but the hamsters didn't rule the land with an iron fist. What's the big deal? I'm obviously ecologically ignorant.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: