If you are thinking about purchasing an exotic animal, there are several important factors to consider. You need to check whether the animal has been legally imported, what your state’s restrictions are regarding the buying and keeping of exotic animals, and whether you are able to provide all of the care the animal requires.
Being responsible for any pet you have is paramount, but owning an exotic animal presents its own unique set of risks.
What are exotic animals?
Animals that are not naturally occurring in the wild are deemed to be exotic to Australia. Although Australian law allows some exotic animals to be kept as pets, it’s important to adhere to the restrictions imposed, both Australia-wide and within each state. They exist to protect other people from exposure to dangerous animals, and other animals and humans from exotic diseases and pests.
Failing to abide by the restrictions also poses a threat to Australia’s ecosystem and environment, which vital tourism and agricultural industries heavily depend on.
The exotic animal trade and associated laws
There are two main laws governing the import of live exotic animals into Australia:
- the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and
- the Quarantine Act 1908.
Anyone intending to import or buy an exotic animal must follow both of these laws. To qualify for Australian import, a species needs to feature on the List of Specimens Taken to be Suitable for Live Import.
Legal importation of exotic animals
Its important to check that any animal you are thinking of buying has been legally imported. Despite Australia’s strict importation laws, some exotic animals are still smuggled into the country undetected, so you need to be vigilant. By ensuring that the animal you want to purchase has been legally imported, you are helping to prevent illegal activity and cruelty.
Even if you’re certain the exotic animal you are looking to buy has been legally imported, you should always check. By doing so, you could stop yourself from incurring a fine of up to $100,000 and serving a five year prison sentence.