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Author Topic: Deadly Snakes Found in the Post as Authorities Bust Native Reptile Smuggling ...  (Read 700 times)

Offline Nero Egernia

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A highly venomous death adder and 93 other native reptiles have been seized in the post in Western Australia after smugglers unsuccessfully tried to send them interstate for sale on the black market.

Six parcels containing the animals destined for New South Wales were intercepted by wildlife officers last week in Kalgoorlie, in the state's Goldfields region.

The horde also included other venomous snakes like the mulga (also known as king brown) and the whip snake, as well as barking geckos, Stimson's pythons and bobtail lizards.

The animals were placed in plastic containers, but five were either dead by the time the parcels were intercepted or have since died.

The reptiles could have attracted up to $150,000 on the black market, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) said.

Wildlife officer Matt Swan said 21 different reptile species were recovered before they could be sold illegally.

"The reptiles have come from locations across WA, including the Wheatbelt, Goldfields, Midwest and Pilbara," he said.

"It is cruel and inhumane to export reptiles through the post.

"These reptiles are subject to rough and tumble, extreme temperatures [it can get] quite cold, can also get quite hot and this has a detrimental effect on their health and can kill them."

Mr Swann said the plastic containers were not secure.

"We have highly venomous reptiles inside and these things can and have escaped in the past," he said.
"They pose a real threat and risk to the people involved in the transport and handling of these packages, and that can have fatal consequences."

Nobody has been charged in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.

However, the DBCA said the investigation was continuing.

Mr Swann described the seizure as significant.

"This is certainly up there with one of the larger seizures that I've been involved with in my 11 years as a wildlife officer. This would be in the top five," he said.

People caught taking protected fauna in WA previously faced a fine of $4,000 per species.

But under new laws passed last year, that penalty has increased to up to $20,000 per species.

The DBCA said the new penalties would help deter wildlife crimes and protect native animals.


Offline Nero Egernia

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I hope the perpetrators get caught. These activities give honest reptile keepers a bad name.


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