Chinese Man Tries to Bring Live $500 Lobster Home From Australia, Gets it Incinerated by Customs Officials

February 29, 2016 Updated: March 1, 2016

On Feb. 26, a man returning to China from a visit to Australia was stopped by customs officials in Ningbo, southern China, who discovered a living 7-pound lobster packed in sawdust within a styrofoam box.

The lobster was confiscated by the customs staff, as transporting live animals into China is restricted due to concerns about disease.

The man had bought the animal for 500 euros, a website run by the Zhejiang Radio and Television Group reported. As it moved along the belt at the baggage claim, the box drew the attention of a trained guard dog, alerting security.

Customs staff in Ningbo, China, hold the lobster. (Sina Weibo)
Customs staff in Ningbo, China, hold the lobster. (Sina Weibo)

After “high pressure sterilization,” the lobster was incinerated in accordance with the law.

Netizens made light of the incident.

“It’s common knowledge that animals and seafood are not allowed into the borders without inspection,” one comment reads. “Knowing this, you still brought the lobster home; it would have been better to just bring it back in your stomach.”

Others likened the “high pressure sterilization” to “pure steaming without soy sauce.”

One comment indicated that the lobster was eaten before incineration.

“It is well and good that the lobster was confiscated for not passing the quarantine, but there is also good profit to be made in customs. These two aspects are not contradictory. Anyway, just one lobster isn’t a big deal for them.”

Another user adds: “The woman inspector seems to be salivating.”