Fined for absent reptiles

THE whereabouts of a red-bellied black snake and green tree frogs saw some wildlife owners slapped with more than $200 in fines after recent inspections by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) in Bendigo.

Five local wildlife licence holders were each fined $211 for failing to keep accurate wildlife records.

DSE senior compliance officer Shaun Burke said some wildlife officers had found discrepancies in record books where owners had not updated details about reptiles that should have been found in their possession.

“While it is possible that these reptiles may have been traded legally or even died and been disposed of appropriately, it is a condition of their licence that owners update their books as soon as a trade happens of circumstances change,” he said.

“Accurate record-keeping helps guard against illegal exploitation of wildlife.”

Offenders can face fines of up to $2816 for failing to maintain records.

Mr Burke said compliance officers would continue to regularly inspect wildlife collections held by both commercial and private licence holders to ensure they comply with regulations.

“It is a privilege for people to own and trade protected wildlife and people must adhere to the laws that govern this privilege,” he said.

Mr Burke urged anyone who saw unlawful or suspicious activity involving wildlife to contact the DSE on 136 186.

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