‘Your Pet, Our Pest.’

Crime Stoppers Victoria and Agriculture Victoria have teamed up to highlight the cruel conditions of the illegal pet trade and the devastating impact even the cutest of exotic animals can have on our environment.

Online marketplaces have made the illegal sale of exotic animals easier. This places many Victorians at risk of unintentionally buying illegally sourced animals and ultimately committing an offence.

If you suspect or have information about anyone involved in the illegal exotic pet trade, you can tell Crime Stoppers Victoria what you know, anonymously

CRUEL INDUSTRY

In-demand exotic pets – like hedgehogs – are often stolen from the wild or bred in captivity under cruel conditions before being transported to countries like Australia.

The journey endured by many exotic animals during illegal transit is traumatic. Animals are likely bound, gagged, and shipped with limited air, food, and water. This cruel treatment means many do not survive.

There is nothing cute about hedgehog trafficking.

Up to a $210,000 fine or 2 years in prison…Is a traumatised hedgehog really worth the cost?

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

African pygmy hedgehog has been found in Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales…meaning the time to act is now!

If they spread, hedgehogs could wreak havoc on our ecosystem, just like foxes and rabbits. Classified as a Prohibited Pest Animal, hedgehogs threaten native wildlife like frogs, lizards, insects, and bird eggs.

 

Hedgehogs are not suitable pets.

Having hedgehogs in Victoria brings disease risks that could harm our $20.2 billion food and fibre sector. If you’re not convinced, think about diseases like rabies and foot & mouth disease that can spread to farm animals, pets, wildlife, and even humans! 

Share what you know with Crime Stoppers.

Reporting suspicious activity is a responsibility we all share to safeguard Victoria and protect our wildlife.

Details you can include in your report:
Seller names or account usernames, bank details, payment account IDs, telephone numbers, collection addresses (if publicised), website URL or page ID numbers.

You are in control of how much information you share, and you can choose to be anonymous.

LINKS & RESOURCES

There are several resources available to learn more about African pygmy hedgehogs. You can visit our website’s dedicated page on hedgehogs, where you’ll find details about their biology, habitat, and the risks associated with their presence in Victoria. You can also visit the Agriculture Victoria website for further details.

Hedgehogs can pose significant biosecurity risks by introducing diseases such as rabies and foot-and-mouth to livestock, native wildlife, pets, and humans. Additionally, they threaten native ecosystems by preying on local fauna and competing with indigenous species for resources.

Learn More:

If you think you have found a hedgehog, please do not attempt to approach or handle the animal.

To learn more about how to report hedgehog sightings, go here.

While hedgehogs are a concern due to their overseas popularity, their potential impact on native ecosystems and the spread of diseases, there are other high-risk pest animals to be aware of in Victoria.

For more information about High-Risk Invasive Species can be found on the Agriculture Victoria website.

 If you come across any advertisements for hedgehog sales in Victoria, please share what you know. You can report suspicious activity anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or  crimestoppersvic.com.au

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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