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Quarantine bungle destroys historic plants

Australian scientists may be banned by French herbaria from requesting plant specimens after a valuable collection on loan from the Paris Museum of Natural History was destroyed by Queensland biosecurity officers.

According to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a collection of rare flowering plants dating from the mid-1800s was incinerated because it lacked “appropriate” import documents.

The federal Department of Agriculture, which has responsibility for quarantine procedures, claims that documents accompanying the French museum specimens “did not disclose required information”.

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