Wildlife owners given two weeks to get their books in order
5 April, 2012
The Department of Sustainability and Environment is reminding Victorian wildlife licence holders that they have two weeks to lodge their annual returns or risk fines and loss of their wildlife licence.
Annual returns are the records individuals and commercial operators who own, breed or trade native wildlife such as lizards, birds and snakes, must keep in Victoria.
DSE Wildlife Officer Melanie Plummer said records should reflect any breeding or trading that has occurred within the year and need to be submitted by 14 April.
“It is common for licence holders to trade or sell wildlife offspring to other licence holders and recording these transactions is a condition of the licence,” Ms Plummer said.
“DSE has issued a reminder a letter to licence holders and checks record books every year. This information can help to monitor trade in wildlife and can then be used to investigate the illegal removal of protected species from the wild.”
In Victoria there are 10,599 basic licence holders and 1,757 advanced licences. An annual basic licence costs $53.70 and an advanced licence costs $146.60.
“People that do not submit a return for their native wildlife can risk being fined or not have their wildlife licence renewed,” Ms Plummer said.
Wildlife returns can not be completed before 31 March and must be submitted by 14 April.
Wildlife covered by basic licences include carpet snakes, bearded dragons, wombats, parrots and some Wallabies. An advanced licence enables the holder to keep a wider range of wildlife including black cockatoos, some types of kangaroos, saltwater crocodiles and tiger snakes.
In Victoria it is illegal to take protected birds, reptiles and mammals from the wild. Any wildlife that is held or traded unlawfully may be seized and charges may be laid.
Infringement notices can be given and the maximum penalty for failing to submit a return is $2,442.