More than 100 native animals seized in Brisbane operation

Issued: 10 Nov 2022

The animals, including possums, were allegedly kept in poor conditions.

The animals, including possums, were allegedly kept in poor conditions.

The animals included birds and they allegedly did not receive adequate treatment.

The animals included birds and they allegedly did not receive adequate treatment.

A joint compliance operation has resulted in the seizure of at least 110 native animals from a Brisbane home in a case described by wildlife officers as one of the worse they had seen.

The compliance operation saw officers from the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) execute a warrant last week.

Compliance officer Warren Christensen said information obtained by QPS indicated that a wildlife carer had allegedly breached the conditions of their wildlife rehabilitation permit.

“Wildlife officers and police searched the house in relation to a number of wildlife offences that were alleged to have been committed,” Mr Christensen said.

“Due to the poor conditions the animals were being kept in, we removed at least 110 animals from the property and requested the assistance of RSPCA Queensland to transport the living animals to their Wildlife Hospital at Wacol for veterinary assessment and treatment.

“Unfortunately, 25 deceased animals were found in freezers beneath the house and some of those were unable to be identified.

“Many of the living animals were suffering from illness or disease or were blind and could not be rehabilitated and released back to the wild.

“The conditions in which the animals were kept were clearly not consistent with regulatory requirements and may have allegedly breached the Animal Care and Protection Act.

“Many of the animals were being kept in small cages or enclosures inside the house without access to fresh air or sunlight.

“Our investigation has shown the person may be allowed to conduct native animal rehabilitation activities under a group rehabilitation permit, but it is clear the person had taken too many animals into care.”

List of seized animals include:

  • Ringtail and brushtail possums
  • Birds – magpie, kookaburras, crow, currawong, bush turkey, curlew, butcher bird, pigeons, barn owl, pacific black ducks, tawny frogmouth, rainbow lorikeets, noisy minor
  • Reptiles – pythons, turtles, eastern water dragon
  • Phascogale

Mr Christensen said the RSPCA provided significant support during the operation, and the living animals were being assessed by vets at their Wacol facility.

“QPWS would like to thank the RSPCA and the QPS for their valuable assistance during this operation,” he said.

“It is sad, but we believe many of those animals will have to be euthanised due to their illness and disease.

“Our investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information about offences under the Animal Care and Protection Act or breaches of wildlife rehabilitation permits is encouraged to call 1300 130 372.

“Wildlife carers provide a vital service throughout Queensland, and most of them are extremely diligent when it comes to the care and rehabilitation of their animals.

“Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, carers and wildlife groups are required to hold permits to rehabilitate sick, injured, or orphaned protected animals so they can be returned to the wild.

“Wildlife carers must comply with strict animal welfare requirements under the Code of Practice Care of Sick, Injured or Orphaned Protected Animals in Queensland.

“As the environmental regulator, DES will take strong action against anyone operating unlawfully or putting the conservation or welfare of our native wildlife at risk.”