It is an offence to import, sell or keep illegally trafficked wildlife (or their eggs or offspring) in Victoria. It is a billion dollar industry that utilises tactics that closely mirror drug traffickers, with animals being worn on the body, sent through the post, or shipped as freight.
Not only is it a biosecurity risk, this harmful trade attacks our agricultural industry, native animal populations and spreads disease. Dumped animals compete with native animals for food and habitat and removing them is costly – up to $140,000 was spent dealing with Smooth Newts in the bayside suburbs of Melbourne from 2012 – 2014.
Illegal wildlife trafficking is also incredibly stressful on the animals. They face extremes of temperature, asphyxiation, dehydration, starvation and trauma. Many animals do not survive the trip. However, the high prices commanded by animals that do survive means that traffickers are able to cover the losses.
Be on the lookout for illegal animal trafficking – on the internet, in markets, or amongst people you know.
If you have any information about illegal importation of wildlife, wildlife traffickers or illegal wildlife owners, report it to Crime Stoppers confidentially. Call 1800 333 000 or Click here.Donate to crime stoppers