Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection are caring for 17 snakes, lizards and other reptiles which were seized by Queensland Police from a vehicle in the Blackall area last weekend.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said the haul of wildlife included five pythons, one brown snake, two legless lizards, four blue tongue lizards and five central netted dragons.
“The reptiles were discovered in pillow cases and bags during a Queensland Police operation last Saturday night, and taken to Blackall police station where they were identified by EHP wildlife officers,” Dr Miles said.
“The animals have been transferred to the EHP holding facility at Moggill where they will be held while investigations continue.
“This is another example of the cooperative approach by Queensland Police and EHP in combating suspected wildlife crime yielding results and I’d like to thank the officers at Blackall for their good work in bringing in these native reptiles.”
Dr Miles said many native Australian animals were commercially attractive and the illegal take and trade of them was a significant issue across Australia and internationally.
“Wildlife officers are working with other law enforcement agencies to collect, monitor and analyse wildlife data and intelligence information to track down potential illegal wildlife activities,” he said.
“EHP will continue to take strong action against people who unlawfully interfere, take, transact or keep protected wildlife.
“If you’re thinking of keeping native wildlife it’s very important to be sure that you deal with a licensed provider and that you have all the necessary permits.
“In Queensland, native animals are protected under the Nature Conservation Act and taking or possessing them without a permit is against the law, with penalties of up to $353,400 or 2 years imprisonment for an individual.”
Members of the public are encouraged to report incidents of wildlife related crime or incidences where they believe wildlife related crime has occurred. Reports can be made to EHP by ringing 1300 130 372 or alternatively through Crime Stoppers.