Buyer beware birds of a feather
Issued: 3 Jun 2022
When it comes to the illegal trade of wildlife, buyers and sellers are not birds of a feather and though they might make a deal, they don’t always flock together.
Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science (DES) recently took possession of three red-tailed black cockatoos from a buyer on the Sunshine Coast who fell victim to an unlawful seller on the marketplace Gumtree.
Senior Wildlife Officer Liz Vang warned buyers must be aware of dodgy dealers in the wildlife trade who do not hold the necessary licences or paperwork to lawfully sell native wildlife.
“It is buyer beware when it comes to purchasing native wildlife, whether it be from social media platforms, Gumtree, or someone’s backyard,” she said.
“If the seller does not hold the necessary licences or paperwork, the buyer should not proceed with the purchase as they will likely lose the animal and could receive a Penalty Infringement Notice.”
“Wildlife officers took possession of three red-tailed black cockatoos from the buyer after an investigation concluded the seller did not have the lawful authority to sell the birds.”
“Following an investigation, the buyer was issued with a $689 fine and the seller received a $2067 fine.
“The red-tailed black cockatoos are now in quarantine at the RSPCA’s Wacol facility and when they pass their vet checks, they will be lawfully rehomed through cooperative arrangements we have with the RSPCA.
“Not knowing the rules about trading in native wildlife is no excuse. People who buy and sell native wildlife must have the lawful authority to trade including appropriate licences and paperwork.”
Ms Vang said the illegal trade of wildlife can have serious consequences for our native species.
“Australian wildlife should be left in the bush, and people who want native animals as pets should ensure they have the appropriate licence and are purchasing them from a lawful source such as pet stores or an authorised licence holder,” she said.
“Wildlife Officers get regular reports from concerned members of the public and routinely check online sites for people who are trading native wildlife. The department will contact people suspected of operating illegally.”
“The maximum penalty for trading in native wildlife without a lawful authority is $13,785.”
People can report the illegal trade of wildlife by calling 1300 130 372.
View photos of the surrendered wildlife in the media centre.
For more information about the responsibilities for wildlife licence holders, please visit keeping native animals on the Queensland Government website.