Break The Chain
The illegal wildlife trade is a cruel business and Crime Stoppers needs the public to help shut the trade down.
Break the Chain is a campaign between the Conservation Regulator, Agriculture Victoria, and Crime Stoppers Victoria and asks people to share what they know about illegal wildlife coming into and out of Australia.
Featured in the campaign are commonly trafficked exotic pests and native animals:
- Red-eared Slider Turtle (Exotic)
- Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Native)
- African Pygmy Hedgehog (Exotic)
- Shingleback Lizard (Native)
Wildlife trafficking in Australia can as be profitable for criminals as drugs and firearms trafficking. People will steal and trap native wildlife like the shingleback skink lizard and red-tailed black cockatoo to then sell on the black market overseas.
On the overseas black market, the shingleback skink lizard has an asking price of around $10,000, while the red-tailed black cockatoo can fetch up to $100,000.
During transportation, these animals are often bound by tape and packed into small objects for a duration varying between a couple of hours to a few days. By the time they arrive overseas, some animals have suffered dehydration and suffocation, while some would have sadly died during the journey.
Illegally imported animals or their products can also pose a great biosecurity risk. Exotic animals, like the red-eared slider turtle and pygmy hedgehog could bring in new animal and human diseases such as foot and mouth disease or rabies. Such diseases would have devastating impacts on our way of life, primary production, and the environment.
“It’s hard to wrap your head around why someone would torture and sell animals for money. But for a criminal involved in this cruel business, blood on one hand… is worth a lot of money in the other.”
— CEO, Stella Smith
What can you do to help end the illegal wildlife trade? Report to Crime Stoppers:
- Information about exotic or native animals being illegally sold, traded, kept, or bred.
- Suspicious activity relating to buy-and-sell groups, pet stores, breeders, or markets.
- Photos/video of people removing or capturing native animals from the wild.
Every Victorian can play a role in stopping the cruel business of illegal wildlife trafficking by reporting what they know to Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000, or online at crimestoppersvic.com.au.