Bathurst man convicted of the possesion of illegal wildlife
7 June 2011
A Bathurst resident has received a conviction and a $2500 fine after pleading guilty in the Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney to three charges of possessing illegally imported wildlife under national environment law.
The conviction follows a successful joint operation by federal and state environment authorities and the NSW Police at a residence in Bathurst during July 2010.
The court found that Mr Timothy Jackson was in possession of a number of illegal wildlife specimens including two leopard geckos, a veiled chameleon and boa constrictor.
"This conviction is welcome given the risk illegally imported wildlife can pose to Australia's environment," said departmental spokesperson Rose Webb.
Evidence tendered in court outlined the potential of the veiled chameleon and the boa constrictor to establish themselves within the Australian environment to the detriment of native flora and fauna.
"People who buy and own illegally imported exotic animals encourage the illegal trade, which is an organised and notoriously cruel business.
"Smuggled animals suffer stress, dehydration, or starvation, and many die in transit.
"Anyone who wants to keep exotic pets should make sure that ownership is allowed under relevant Australian laws," Ms Webb said.
The maximum penalty for the possession exotic wildlife specimens is an $110,000 fine or five years gaol.
Anyone with information about trade in illegal wildlife or wildlife products can contact the department at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about wildlife and wildlife product trade, go to: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/exoticanimalguide/list.html