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Prohibited reptiles land Greenbank man a $1500 fine

News release | 14-Nov-2018

A Greenbank man has been fined $1500 in the Ipswich Magistrates Court for illegally keeping three exotic non-native reptiles

Biosecurity Queensland Principal Biosecurity Officer Duncan Swan said the man was found illegally keeping a boa constrictor, Burmese python and leopard gecko in September 2017.

"Biosecurity Queensland officers, in a joint operation with the RSPCA, seized the animals from a house in Goodna that the man was living in at the time,” Mr Swan said.

“All three animals are exotic non-native reptiles and are declared as prohibited invasive biosecurity matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

“Under the Biosecurity Act it is an offence to deal with prohibited matter which includes keeping, possessing, feeding, distributing, importing, transporting, disposing, buying, supplying or using prohibited matter.

“Currently, the maximum penalty for dealing with prohibited matter is $130,550.00.<br></p> <p>Mr Swan said exotic reptiles posed a very serious biosecurity risk to Queensland.

“Overseas evidence clearly shows that private possession of non-native reptiles poses a significant risk to native wildlife, the environment and in some cases human life and safety,” Mr Swan said

“Virtually all species of non-native reptiles are capable of establishing wild populations when introduced into a new environment such as Australia.

“These species also pose a significant disease risk and can readily transmit diseases to our native reptile populations with potentially catastrophic results.

“Preventing the possession of high-risk species avoids the development of large-scale, generally intractable pest problems."

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Media contact: DAF Media, media@daf.qld.gov.au