Aussies Turn Away Mercedes-Benz Shipments Infested With Gastropod Mollusks
If you’re like this writer, you might be surprised to learn that snails, the subject of this piece, are loosely related to the octopus. Learning doesn’t have to end when you leave school.
Snails, also known by more scientific names, are fun to step on, but can cause quite a bit of consternation and unexpected expense when they inhabit premium German automobiles. Especially ones that just took a very long boat ride.
As reported by Australia’s Car Advice, five shipments totalling 900 Mercedes-Benz vehicles have been ordered to turn around and go home after Aussie authorities discovered a type of snail unknown to the land Down Under. The island nation doesn’t take too kindly to new species that could disrupt the country’s fragile ecosystem, forcing dealers to tell buyers their new car will have to wait.
Apparently, the snail infestation — the publication notes that the suspect in question is the Heath snail, native to southwest Europe and parts of North America — was caught by Australia’s Department of Agriculture, which placed $50 million worth of vehicles in quarantine as it worked on a solution. That solution, it turns out, was to send boatloads of sedans, SUVs, and vans back to a port in Belgium.
“Further steps beyond their re-exportation are yet to be finalised,” the automaker stated.
Whether the vehicles undergo a thorough snail cleansing or the automaker opts to send a wholly new batch is unknown at this time. What is known, however, is that the vehicles must now be placed inside containers to prevent contamination of the car-carrying ships plying the waters between Europe and Australia. That means more costs for M-B.
This marks the first time that snails have prevented shipments of vehicles from reaching Aussie dealers. Until now, the main concern was brown marmorated stink bugs hitching a ride from Asian ports to the island nation. Those same bugs also made their way to Europe, where local governments claim the insect has become a serious nuisance.
[Image: Daimler AG]
Pwrwrench on Oct 25, 2019
While I can see the humor in the comments the reality it no joke. In the USA Quagga mussels got into the Great Lakes around 1989. Traced to ballast water from ships that had been in central Europe. From the Great Lakes the Quagga spread around the Mid West and found their way to the Colorado river, Lake Powell, Mead, Havasu, and Mojave. Also now in lakes around California. Most likely getting transported on small boats trailered from one lake to another. Because these things can clog water pipes, canals, aqueducts and so on there are now strict treatment and quarantine procedures at many lakes in the western USA. Quite a lot of money is being spent to remove the Quaggas from water systems.
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