Animals taken from their native environments and illegally trafficked for profit are often bound, gagged, and shipped with limited air, food, and water. This cruel treatment means many do not survive.

Exotic pests, such as reptiles, are also imported from overseas, and then used for breeding and trading in Victoria. This includes the Red-eared Slider Turtle, which can cause significant damage to fragile ecosystems by killing or competing with native species and spreading new diseases, which in some instances has led to the extinction of native animals. 

Online marketplaces, such as Facebook and Gumtree, have made the illegal sale of native animals and exotic pests easier, and many Victorians are caught out unintentionally buying illegally sourced animals. 

It is extremely serious to buy and sell exotic animals in Victoria. It is also illegal to acquire native wildlife through unofficial channels and harsh penalties apply. 

If something feels suspicious or you have information relating to the trade of native wildlife and exotic pests, share what you know.

HOW TO SPOT A DODGY DEALER

looking for a forever pet?

ASK YOURSELF when buying native wildlife:

  • Is this animal legally allowed to be sold in your State?
  • Is a licence needed for the animal you are wanting to buy?
  • Does the seller have the appropriate licence for the wildlife they are selling?
  • Do you have the right wildlife licence to keep the animal?
  • Have you seen pictures of the animal’s living conditions? Do you have a suitable enclosure ready?
  • Was the animal bred in captivity and is the seller knowledgeable about it?
  • Does the animal look to be in good physical condition? Do you know how to care for it?
  • Can the seller provide the animal’s history?
  • Is your gut telling you that everything is okay?

ASK YOURSELF when buying exotic animals:

  • Is this animal legally allowed to be sold in your State?
  • Is a licence needed for the animal you are
    wanting to buy?
  • Does the seller have the appropriate licence for the animal they are selling?
  • Have you seen pictures of the animal’s living conditions?
  • Is the seller knowledgeable about the animal
    they are selling?
  • Does the animal look to be in a good physical condition?
  • Can the seller provide the animal’s history?
  • Is your gut telling you that everything is okay?

 

Penalties

Penalties for illegally acquiring native wildlife in Victoria can be more than $40,000, 2 years in jail and the animals seized.

Penalties for buying and selling exotic animals can be $210,000 or 2 years in prison.

 

 

Click ‘Licence’ below to learn about obtaining a licence to keep and trade wildlife in the right way.

What information to report

If you know or are suspicious of illegal animal trading, share any identifying information, such as:

Username
Bank details
Payment account IDs
Telephone numbers
Collection addresses (if post publicised)
Website URL or page ID number 

You can be anonymous

We want to stress that CSV offers anonymous reporting.
You are in control of how much information you can supply.
You do not need to say who you are.
We do not store IP addresses or phone numbers.

DON'T BUY INTO THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE or exotic pest tRADE

What do you do if you have bought one of these animals and no longer wish to have them in your possession?


You can hand in unwanted animals to vets and wildlife shelters. These animals must not be released into the wild.

RESOURCES

How To Spot A Dodgy Exotic Pest Dealer:
English
Arabic
Simplified Chinese
Vietnamese

How To Spot A Dodgy Wildlife Dealer:
English
Arabic
Simplified Chinese
Vietnamese

Prospective Buyer’s Checklist:
English
Arabic
Simplified Chinese
Vietnamese

 

Crime Stoppers Victoria acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Crime Stoppers Victoria (ABN 15 006 945 151) is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient. Donations of $2 or more to Crime Stoppers Victoria are tax deductible in Australia.
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