A BENDIGO man could face charges under the Wildlife Act after the Department of Environment and Primary Industries seized four pythons from his home.
DEPI senior compliance officer Brady Childs said two Stimson’s pythons, one spotted python and one carpet python were discovered when officers executed a search warrant on the property.
“The man had previously held a licence but had allowed it to expire,” Mr Childs said.
“Collectors and retailers of native wildlife must possess an appropriate licence and meet strict permit conditions," he said.
“One of the conditions of keeping native wildlife is to maintain an up-to-date protected wildlife record book, which must be kept in a safe and secure place.
“Wildlife record books assist the department to monitor wildlife possession and trade.
“Accurate record keeping helps guard against illegal exploitation of wildlife."
Mr Childs said department compliance officers regularly inspected wildlife collections held by commercial and private licence holders to monitor compliance with relevant regulations and to ensure wildlife was lawfully obtained.
“It is a privilege for people to own and trade protected wildlife, and people must adhere to the laws governing this privilege," he said.
“This recent wildlife seizure is a timely reminder to all wildlife licence holders to check the validity of their own licences and those of people they trade with.
“Under the Wildlife Act 1975, all wildlife in Victoria is protected and cannot be taken, killed, harassed, trapped, traded or held in captivity without the appropriate licence. The maximum penalty for possessing wildlife in Victoria that has been unlawfully acquired is $34,646 and/or two years imprisonment.
“We have zero tolerance for people who are illegally keeping wildlife and encourage anyone who observes unlawful or suspicious activity involving wildlife to contact DEPI on 136 186."