Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
Sydney man fined for keeping exotic snakes
6 September 2010
The federal environment department has welcomed a court decision to impose a fine on a Western Sydney man for keeping exotic snakes.
Damien Sherry, 22, from Blacktown, New South Wales, has been fined $3000 for possession of six exotic snakes, which is illegal under federal environment law.
Earlier this year, a joint investigation by federal and New South Wales environment authorities led to the seizure of illegal exotic snakes - including corn snakes, king snakes and a boa constrictor.
Federal environment department spokesman Luke Bond said this was a good result for Australia's environment.
"This fine shows that people who break our wildlife protection laws will be dealt with seriously," Mr Bond said.
"These laws are in place to protect our wildlife and environment, to which exotic snakes pose a serious threat.
"They kill and compete with our native wildlife for food or habitat, and can introduce diseases for which our native reptiles have no immunity.
"And it encourages the illegal wildlife trade, which is an organised and notoriously cruel business. Smuggled animals suffer stress, dehydration, or starvation, and many die in transit."
Mr Sherry was charged with possession of illegally imported regulated live specimens under Section 303GN(2) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The maximum penalty for this offence is $110,000 fine or five years jail. If you have any information about trade in illegal wildlife or wildlife products contact the department at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about wildlife and wildlife product trade, go to: