Fine issued for taking snake out in public

Issued: 18 Sep 2023

A man who was filmed with his pet python at a Gold Coast beach has been fined $2,322 for breaching the conditions of his permit.

Senior Wildlife Officer Jonathan McDonald said wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science handed the fine to the man on Thursday 14 September 2023.

“The man was brought to our attention when he appeared in local media taking his python into the surf,” Mr McDonald said.

“Our investigation found the man had a permit to keep native animals, but he was issued with a Penalty Infringement Notice for the breaching section 88a of the Nature Conservation Act.

“Permit holders are not allowed to take animals from their licenced premises unless taking them to a vet or, selling or giving the animal to another permit holder or taking it to an authorised display.

“To take an animal out in public or display it requires a separate permit from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

“We do not want permit holders to be displaying their native animals in public unless it is done for a specific approved purpose and in a way that best provides for the welfare of the animal, the safety of the public and complies with the relevant codes.

“Taking native pets out in public can cause the animals unnecessary stress, and they can behave in an unpredictable way when they are removed from their enclosures.

“There is also the threat of spreading diseases to native wildlife when people take captive-bred reptiles out in public.

“Snakes are obviously cold-blooded animals, and while they can swim, reptiles generally avoid water.

“The python would have found the water to be extremely cold, and the only snakes that should be in the ocean are sea snakes.

“We also issued the man with a warning for not updating his online record book in relation to ownership of the python.”

View more information about native wildlife permits.